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Robert Hartley Burley in his RAN Able Seaman uniform in 1926

Date: 1926
Overall: 134 x 85 mm, 0.004 kg
Medium: Silver gelatin print
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from A E Burley
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00029834

User Terms

    HistoryBorn in 1908 Robert Hartley enlisted with HMAS TINGIRA as Boy Second Class at the age of fifteen in 1923. In August 1925, at the age of seventeen, he was promoted to Ordinary Seaman.
    He served on HMAS MELBOURNE in July 1924 and was then transferred to HMAS BRISBANE in 1925 when it was based in China for several months. In September 1925 he was transferred back to HMAS MELBOURNE and served on it for twelve months in the Mediterranean.
    Rated Able Seaman in August 1926. In September 1926 HMAS MELBOURNE returned to Sydney hand Burley was assigned to Flinders Naval Yard in Victoria. Rated Writer (Clerk) in December 1926 and was Chief Petty Officer by the time his initial engagment with the Navy expired in May 1938. Between 1926 and 1938 he served on HMAS MORSEBY surveying the Great Barrier Reef in North Queensland and on HMAS ALBATROSS at Jervis Bay.

    He re-enlisted in September 1938 serving in Sydney for the first twelve months before proceeding to England at the start of WWII. In September 1941 he was re-asisgned to the Middle East and from there to Colombo in early 1942. Once that city was subject to bombing their base was moved to Mombasa. On 30 July 1942 he was promoted to Warrant Rank. The base was returned to Colombo. There Burley caught dengue fever was returned to Australia on 1 March 1944 on medical leave. In May 1945 he was briefly stationed in New York as liaison officer, and then liaison officer for Australia House in London. He returned to Sydney in August 1945. In January 1946 he was promoted to Commissioned Rank and on retirement from the Navy in 1947 was given the rank of Lieutentant.

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