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Royal Australian Naval College

S F va:ue to students to naval service adher ents present and past, and to the general public will be "A History of the Royal Australian Naval Col lege," by F. B. Eldridqe for many years a sernor master and author of "The Background of Eastern Sea Power." which be came a text-book. This work covers the period from the inception of the col-I lege in 1913 to the end of World War II. The edition has been limited to 750 copies and will be a useful ornament to any library. The flyleaf. reads: "Dedicated to all former cadets of the Royal Australian Naval College. more especially those who served with the fight ing forces in the 1939-45 war and most particularly .those who paid the supreme sacri fice." It will he recalled by those who saw the launching of Fede ration that in 1904 all the sea going forces of the States passed to the Commonwealth with Captain W. R. Creswell, of Victoria, as Director. Then came the proposal for the Aus tralian Naval College in 1906 and the decision that it would charge no fees-and not only that; from the moment of entering the college the boy was to become a member of the Permanent Naval Forces ol the Commonwealth which jhenceforth demanded his en tire service. but which' also from henceforth bore the whole cost of his training and main tenance even to the provision of the weekly pocket-money Three years later the Lord Mayor of Sydney, who was the chairman of trustees for the Dreadnought Fund., which had originally been intended for the purpose of contributing a capi tal ship to the Royal Navy. had an interview with the Prime Minister (Mr. Deakin) and

this resulted in a definite offer from the trustees of the Dread, nought Fund of between £35.000 and £40.000 to be used by the Commonwealth Government for the building of a Naval College for the edu cation and training of officers for the proposed Australian Fleet. The only conditions at tached to the gift were that the college should be established "within the precincts of the city of Sydney" and that the erection of the college should be commenced within a reason able time. It was decided to use the Middle Head site. Henderson Report. Then came Sir Regmiald Hen derson's report on the sea defence of Australia in which he strongly supported the idea of a college and among other suitable spots for it he men tioned Jervis Bay. When Cap tain B. M. Chambers (who later became the first college chief) arrived on loan from the Royal Navy to take up the post of second member on the newly reconstituted Naval Board and; began to- look around, he con sidered it a subject for regret' that a compact had been made with Sydney for the establish ment of the college in its close neighbourhood. After a good deal of finessing and indecision the Lord Mayor of Sydney (Sir Allen Taylor) did not insist on the letter of the Dreadnought arrangement and on November 16. 1911, he announced that the Government had decided to fix the site at Jervis Bay..and that in the meantime tempor ary facilities would be provided with the greatest expedition. While the permanent build ings were being built. Osborne House. Geelong. was used as a temporary training centre. There have been many changes and developments and new loca tions since Jervis Bay was en dorsed. All of these are clearly traced and documented. In the first selection of cadet students the two West

Australians who qualified were J. C. D. F.sdaile (Boulder) and C. A. R. Sadlier (Claremont). It was decided at the last moment to increase the num ber from 24 to 28 and in the additional four was none other than J. A. Collins. who now, after a distinguished battle career, leads the Australian Navy. In all 671 cadets have entered the college. Captain Baldwin (1943) was the first officer trained at the Royal -Australian Naval Col lege to hold the position of its captain. On the first Board of Studies meeting held under his presidency he was congritu. lated on that fact by a member of the board who had been a member of the staff at the time that he was a cadet midshipman. When H.M.A.S. Perth was lost in a heroic action in March, 1945, it provided an inspira tion to generations of the cadet midshipmen. In addition to Captain Waller. the former cadets who gave their lives in this heroic action were Com mander (E) Robert Gray, D.S.O.. Lieut. P. S. F. Hancox. A/Sub-Lieut. J. S. Lester, Commander W. H. Martin. Lieut. (E) A. J. H. Mears. Lieut. N. D. McWil'iain (R.A.N.R.). Lieut. D. J Sut ton. Paymaster Midshipman P. M. Tranby-White and Lieut. Commander L. L. Watkins. This volume rightly has been published in rather a splendid form, but it will be much sought by many more than could obtain it in the present controlled number of copies available and it is to be hoped that a cheaper popular edition will be available later. Geor gian House (Melbourne) are the publishers. ASKED where he would like to go for a day in Perth, a rural schoolboy said he would like to spend it in Parliament House. He seems to be a precociously morbid boy. i, -

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