Our second lecture for the year will be held on Wednesday, 20 March 2013. The lecture will be delivered by two of our esteemed members, CAPT Richard Arundel RAN (Retd) and CAPT Robert Hume RANR (Retd).  


CAPT Arundel and CAPT Hume will address us on the topic of ;


The Naval Brigade and Sir William Creswell KCMG KBE: Their Place in History.


Creswell retired from the Royal Navy in 1878 and, seeking to become a pastoralist, he emigrated to Australia in 1879.   A stint in the Northern Territory, however, convinced Creswell that he was ill-suited to outback life. During a visit to Adelaide in 1885 he met a former naval colleague and was convinced to take up an appointment as First Lieutenant on South Australia’s only naval vessel, HMCS Protector, a posting he very much enjoyed.  He soon began agitating for the establishment of an Australian naval force to supplement the Royal Navy squadron based in Sydney. In mid-1895 he reached the rank of captain; by 1899 he was arguing strongly for an Australian navy. On 1 May 1900 he was appointed Commandant of the Queensland naval forces but was soon released to command Protector on its deployment to China to assist in suppressing the Boxer Rebellion.

After Federation, Creswell’s lobbying for an Australian navy gained momentum. He was regarded by many as Australia’s chief spokesman on naval matters, hence his appointment in February 1904 to the new position of Naval Officer Commanding the Commonwealth Naval Forces. He had retained his position in Queensland and accepted the role of Naval Commandant in Victoria but his energies were primarily focused on the national navy.  Alarmed at Germany’s growing naval might by 1909, Australia’s admiralty sought to dramatically increase Australia’s naval strength. In company with Colonel Justin F. G. Foxton, Creswell attended the Imperial Conference, which resulted in the Naval Defence Act of 1910 being passed which created the Australian navy. In 1911 Creswell was promoted to rear admiral in the service of the Royal Australian Navy.

The fact that Australia’s navy was ready for service when the World War I began was largely the result of Creswell’s hard work and lobbying.


Guests are most welcome. 


As usual, the cost of the lecture will be $10 per head. A light lunch will be available from midday, with the lecture between 1pm and 2pm. Attendees are asked to be seated by 12:45pm.  If you wish to attend, then please advise your attendance no later than 3pm 13 March 2013 by either email on ([email protected]) or by leaving a phone message on 32334420 or 32334616.