Life in the lower deck of the Royal Australian Navy 1911-1952 (2 volumes)

Accession Number MSS2100
Collection type Manuscript
Measurement 1 wallet: 5cm
Object type Manuscript
Maker Spurling, Kathryn
Date made 1999
Access Open
Related File This file can be copied or viewed via the Memorial’s Reading Room. AWM371 89/1205
Conflict Korea, 1950-1953
Second World War, 1939-1945
China, 1900-1901 (Boxer Uprising)
First World War, 1914-1918

This thesis studies the development of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), during the period 1911 to 1952 from the perspective of the men of the lower deck, the RAN ratings. The early RAN was modeled very closely on the Royal Navy (RN), but the expectations of its managers and administrators, imbued as they were with the culture and tradition of the RN, were not easily compatible with the character of the Australians who became the RAN's ratings. The class distinction which functioned in the RN, when applied to the more egalitarian Australians caused ill-feeling and led to the breakdown of discipline. The Australian Commonwealth Naval Board strongly resisted attempts by the Australian Government and the Australian people to regulate its affairs, a situation which seriously disadvantaged the RAN ratings and their families. In the wider context a continuing refusal by both the British Admiralty and the senior officers of the RAN to allow the development of a truly national navy led to significant manpower problems. This both inhibited the establishment of a navy for Australia and denied that navy full use of the unique attributes of the Australian rating.