Seaman's trousers : Ordinary Seaman D Grose, HMAS Cerberus

Place Oceania: Australia, Victoria, Mornington Peninsula, Westernport
Accession Number REL31885.003
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Uniform
Physical description Cotton, Cotton drill, Plastic, Wool serge
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia
Date made c 1943
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Royal Australian Navy sailor's navy blue wool serge fall front winter square rig trousers, with traditional horizontal folds down each leg. The waist and fall are lined with black cotton. The fall, which fastens to the inside front section with four black plastic buttons, has two sloping welt pockets with dark blue cotton drill pocket bags. The two bands of the insdie front section fasten together behind the fall with three black plastic buttons. The bell bottoms of the legs have apparently been too wide for the wearer, who has taken them in with hand stitching up each leg and across the back of the seat.

History / Summary

Worn by PM6971 Able Seaman Douglas Grose during the early stages of his Second World War naval service. Grose, born at Bendigo, Victoria, in October 1925, joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) as an ordinary seaman on 12 October 1943. After training at the shore establishments HMAS Lonsdale and HMAS Cerberus, he was posted to HMAS Manoora, a 10,856 ton ship built originally for the Adelaide Steamship company in 1934. She was requisitioned for wartime service by the RAN in October 1939 and served initially on escort duty as an armed merchant cruiser. By the time Grose joined the ship she had been refitted as an infantry landing ship and had already taken part in successful landings at Tanamerah Bay and Wadke Island in New Guinea. In September she transported troops to Morotai before preparing to land American troops in the Philippines, at Leyte on 25 October 1944 and at Lingayen, under heavy Japanese bombardment, on 9 January 1945. In April the Manoora carried her first Australian troops and cargo, to landings on Tarakan; and on Green Beach, Brunei, and at Balikpapan in June. Between September 1945 and April 1946 the ship repatriated Australian soldiers from New Guinea, New Britain, Morotai and Borneo, before making four trips to Japan. Grose was appointed an acting able seaman in November 1944 and was confirmed in the position on 24 July 1945. He was discharged on 2 August 1946. These trousers were issued to Grose when he first joined the navy. He did not carry them with him during his tropical service in HMAS Manoora.