Chief Stoker Peter Duncan

Service number 7284
Birth Date 1882-04-22
Birth Place United Kingdom: England, Merseyside, Liverpool
Death Date 1955-03-07
Death Place Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Final Rank Chief Stoker
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918

Peter Duncan was born on 22 April 1882 at Liverpool, England. At the age of 18, he followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the Royal Navy and became a stoker. Whilst serving on HMS Hecla in late 1908, he gained his Engineer’s Writer certificate. This qualification allowed him to look after the administration of the engineering department.
By the time Duncan was loaned to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in November 1912, he had gained the rank of petty officer stoker. He became a crew member of HMAS Australia and was on board when the ship entered Sydney Harbour with the rest of HM Australian Fleet on 4 October 1913. By November 1913, Duncan was acting chief stoker and in December he had qualified as Engineer’s Yeoman of Stores.

At the outbreak of the First World War, HMAS Australia operated in local waters to deter the German Asiatic Squadron and took part in operations to seize German colonies in the Pacific. HMAS Australia was ordered to England in late 1914 and arrived there on 28 January 1915, before spending the rest of the war in the North Sea, conducting sweeps, patrols, and convoy escort duties. On board HMAS Australia, Duncan’s efficient capable manner and organisational and mechanical skills endeared him to his crew mates and he became a well-respected member of the crew.

After the end of the war, Duncan was discharged from the RAN in October 1920, but entered the reserves for five years. From 1935 to 1941 he was storeman for the Department of Defence’s RAN Armament Depot at Spectacle Island, Sydney and was later employed as a munitions worker. Peter Duncan died in Sydney on 7 March 1955.


Date of birth 22 April 1882
Joined Royal Navy 14 August 1900
Stoker 15 August 1900
Engineer's Writer 1908
Stoker's Petty Officer 1909
Chief Stoker 1913
Engineer's Yeoman of Stores 1914
Date of death 07 March 1955