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Royal Australian Naval Brigade button

Date: 1917-1920
Overall: 20 x 20 x 11 x 20 mm, 0.004 kg
Medium: Gilt metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Michael Waterhouse
Object Name: Button
Object No: 00013956
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    HistoryThe 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.

    Norman 'Gus' Warren Waterhouse was born in Sydney in 1899 and joined Royal Australian Naval Reserves (RANR) in 1916. He transferred to adult forces in July 1917 as ordinary seaman and became rated as a signal man on 1 December 1917, and later as a Leading Seaman and as Petty Officer (Yeoman of Signals) on 1 July 1919. As a trained engineer, Waterhouse was Appointed Engineer-Lieutenant in the RANR with effect from 1 February 1927 and later as Appointed Engineer-Lieutenant Commander in 1935. This same year he was awarded the Volunteer Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.
    In 1944 Waterhouse was transferrd to Retired List which he held until July 1955 when he became a permanent resident of the United States .
    In 1926, 'Gus' had proposed the erection of a National Sea Memorial on Sow and Pigs Reef using the tripod mast of HMAS SYDNEY, which had sunk the EMDEN at Cocos Island on 9 November, 1914 . He had proposed a concrete superstructure in the shape of a cross with the lower end in the form of steps and a landing stage to enable small craft to berth. The suggestion was aired in the media and eventually the mast was erected on Bradley's Head, Sydney Harbour in 1934.
    Gus also wrote many articles on naval issues, particularly drawing on his engineering background .
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Royal Australian Naval Brigade button

    Collection title: Lieutenant Norman 'Warren' Waterhouse naval collection

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