Home' Afloat : AFLOAT January 2017 Contents 68 AFLOAT.com.au January 2017
Honours and Awards to
Australian Naval People,
Volume 1, 1900-1974
by Ian Pfennigworth
published by Echo Books
(840pp, 180mm x 260mm)
‘Bravo Zulu’ is a signal taken from
the Allied Naval Signal Book, used
since 1949 by NATO and most western
or western-aligned navies, including
the Royal Australian Navy. Typically sent by flag or voice radio, its
meaning is ‘Well Done.’ This two-letter group is commonly used in
written formats as well.
In choosing this name for this massive volume Captain Ian
Pfennigworth (Ret) has paid a fine tribute to the memory of the men
of the Commonwealth Naval Forces and to the men and women of
the Royal Australian Navy – past, present and future.
Between 1900 and 2014 more than 3,750 Australian naval people
received awards for the courage, sacrifice and service to the nation.
Among the diverse awards has been the George Cross for defusing
mines during the World War II blitz of London, an American Silver Star
for flying helicopters into intense fire in Vietnam, and a Conspicuous
Service Medal for service in the Royal Australian Navy.
Apart from its excellent documentation, Bravo Zulu includes many
previously untold stories of courageous acts by the RAN personnel
ashore and afloat and by Yachtsmen Scheme volunteers.
One such story tells how Lieutenant William Ferguson RANVR
from Bellerive, Tasmania took charge of a fire fighting team on a
landing craft during the D Day landings in France. For his leadership
and courage he was awarded an MID (Mentioned in Despatches).
Bravo Zulu is a most commendable publication, an excellent
reference book about the history of the RAN, and a book full of
wonderful stories of extreme courage by naval people.
Lady of St Kilda
A Famous Topsail Schooner
by John M MacAulay
published by Isle Press, Isle of
RRP $53.50 (130pp; 152mm x
Lady of St Kilda is the product of many
hours of hard work and concentrated
research by John MacAulay, a Scotsman who
has had a lifetime immersed in maritime
history, local history, and boat construction.
The book centres on the relatively short life of the fast topsail
schooner Lady of St Kilda between 1834 and 1844, but also creates
a fascinating link between the remote Scottish isle of St Kilda and
the then small settlement on the outskirts of Melbourne, eventually
to also be named St Kilda.
Today the isle of St Kilda is devoid of permanent residents, the
few remaining inhabitants being moved to the Scottish mainland in
the early 1930s. In contrast, the St Kilda of Melbourne is a prosperous
suburb, a ‘city’ in its own right.
The Lady of St Kilda was a relatively small ship/yacht, typical of the
fast topsail schooners designed and built specifically for importing
oranges from the Azores in the middle of the North Atlantic. A
wealthy Devonshire baronet, Thomas Dyke Acland, commissioned
her as yacht for his private voyages around the coast of the UK and
In 1812, aboard a chartered private yacht, he had dropped anchor
at the island of St Kilda and in 1834, when he launched his new
topsail schooner he named her Lady of St Kilda.
It is unknown whether he named the schooner simply after the
remote island or after the beautiful Lady Grange who was imprisoned
there by her husband for opposing his support of Bonnie Prince
Acland eventually sold the schooner and in 1841, after being
converted to a trading vessel, she was sailed through rugged
weather to Melbourne, dropping anchor off the eastern shores of
Port Phillip. One year after the Lady of St Kilda arrived in Melbourne
she departed on a challenging voyage to Canton in China and the
author has reproduced most interesting exerts from the ship’s log.
The Lady of St Kilda subsequently sailed to New Zealand thence to
Tahiti, only to be taken over by the local police, who in 1844 managed
to wreck this magnificent topsail schooner on a reef off Papeete.
Lady of St Kilda is an interesting insight into the days of sail, if
somewhat disjointed and lacking photos or at least sketches of the
two St Kilda, so far apart. h
Books reviewed by Peter Campbell
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New edition from it’s new publisher. This is the
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maps are based on information provided by Maritime
Safety Queensland and include important information
such as rules and regulations for boating and fishing in
South East Queensland.
Spiral Bound 200 pages $45.00
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