Logo of the Navy League


A Branch of Britain's Navy League was established in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia on 26 November 1901. It was called the North Tasmanian Branch. Branches were also started in Sydney and Melbourne. These organisations were designed to encourage young men to take an interest in the sea and nautical affairs. These small branches of the United Kingdom Navy League were the forerunner of the Navy League of Australia.

The Australian branches of the British Navy League took a sporadic interest in naval defence matters. Its members spent most of their time and money on sea cadet training units that had been formed in Northern Tasmania, Sydney and Melbourne.

In July 1931 the membership of the South Australian Branch of the Navy League was as follows:-

Patron His Excellency the Governor, Hon. Brig.-Gen, Sir A. G. A. Hore-Ruthven, V.C., K.C.M.G., C.B., D.S.O.
Vice-Patron His Honor the Chief Justice and Lieutenant Governor of S. A. (Sir George Murray, K.C.M.G., B.A., L.L.M.)
President Hon. Sir Edward Lucas, K.B.
Hon. Treasurer T.C. Stevens, Esq., Garden Suburb Commissioner, Victoria Square, Adelaide
Hon. Secretary J. Whinham Packard, Box 462D, G.P.O.

In July 1931 the South Australian Branch of the Navy League was located at 39 Eagle Chambers, Pirie Street, Adelaide.

In July 1931 the Victorian Branch of The Navy League was located at 54 Sandringham Road, Sandringham. It's Secretary was Mr. A. E. Creal.

In 1947 the Australian Branches of the British Navy League formed a loose coalition and sought Royal Australian Navy assistance for the Navy League Cadets. The Naval Board did not wish to negotiate with a London based organisation. In 1950 an autonomous national body known as the "Navy League of Australia" was established. It was managed by a Federal Council consisting of a Federal President and representatives of the six States, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

The first Federal Council of the Navy League of Australia was under the command of Commander John Bates RANR. The Federal Council comprised retired RAN and wartime Reserve Officers whose first task was to gain recognition and practical assistance from the Royal Australian Navy for the Navy League cadets.


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This page first produced 19 January 2009

This page last updated 04 August 2018