Royal Australian Naval Brigade
Royal Australian Naval BrigadeThe Royal Australian Naval Brigade was the RAN's primarily non-seagoing reserve organisation during the First World War. Just short of 3,000 men passed through its ranks during the war, and at the height of its expansion it included 2,817 officers and men. The brigade provided 1,826 men for overseas service including the naval component of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force that occupied Germany's Pacific territories, the Naval Bridging Train that operated at Gallipoli and Egypt, and a contingent of 300 reinforcements for the AIF.
The brigade was also heavily employed at home guarding naval installations, operating harbour patrols, inspection services and boarding parties, and manning lookout and wireless stations. Following the loss of the steamship Cumberland to a mine off Gabo Island in July 1917, the Naval Brigade was also tasked with sweeping for mines around Australia's principal ports, in addition to clearing up the minefield that had claimed Cumberland. The brigade operated 63 vessels and small craft in Australian waters during the war. It was renamed the Royal Australian Naval Reserve in 1920.