- Barton, J.P., Midshipman, RAN
- History - general
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- April 1993 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY
24, In February 1910 the first of the destroyers, PARRAMATTA, ordered by Fisher, arrived in Australia. Admiral Henderson, an ex-Royal Navy officer was appointed by the Government as a consultant to make proposals on the establishment of the Navy. His paper was extremely ambitious and many of the recommendations were not approved. Following the approval of King George V, all vessels were to be prefixed with “His Majesty’s Australian Ship”. The newly instigated Naval Board ordered that all HMA Ships were to fly the white ensign.
25. So the Royal Australian Navy was born. Many factors were instrumental in the formation of the RAN. Australia was not considered important up until the mid 1800s when gold was discovered. With the increasing population and wealth, and a possible threat from Russia, it was necessary for a stronger naval presence. Australia from that stage on began working towards a naval force of their own. The Colonial Naval Defence Act gave the colonies the ability to have their own forces and therefore the State Naval Forces were created.
26. Australia was not satisfied with the naval protection provided by the Royal Navy. The Australasian Defence Act allowed for the formation of the Australian Auxiliary Squadron to supplement the naval presence in the Australian station while providing training for Australian sailors. The Squadron did not meet its objectives and was considered a failure.
27. When Federation occurred in 1901 Australia was well on its way to forming its own independent navy. The Commonwealth Defence Act brought together the defences of the country. The formation of the Naval Officer Commanding the Naval Forces, which was replaced by the Director of Naval Forces, saw Captain Creswell, as President, in a position where he could realise his dream of creating an Australian navy manned by Australians, owned by Australia and controlled by Australia. He worked in a tireless and determined manner to achieve this goal, even when everything seemed to be against him.
28. Other key figures in pushing for an Australian navy were Deakin and Fisher. By holding the position of Prime Minister, they were able to use their influences and push at the Imperial Government. Finally, the German naval build up meant that the British had to ensure the security of the Empire by other means. As a consequence of all these factors Australia was finally rewarded with the formation of the Royal Australian Navy.