Australia Station

Australia Station
Australia Station
Australia Station Squadron (AWM 304426).jpg
Royal Navy squadron on the Australia Station moored in Sydney in 1880
Active Created in 1859
Country  United Kingdom
Later,  Australia
Branch  Royal Navy
Later,  Royal Australian Navy

The Australia Station was the British—and later Australian—naval command responsible for the waters around the Australian continent.[1]



In the early years following the establishment of the colony of New South Wales, ships based in Australian waters came under the control of the East Indies Squadron of the Royal Navy and from the 1820s, a ship was sent annually to New South Wales, and occasionally to New Zealand.[2]

In 1848, an Australian Division of the East Indies Station was established.[3] However in 1859 the British Admiralty established an independent command, the Australia Station, under the command of a commodore who was assigned as Commander-in-Chief, Australia Station.[1] This decision was partially in recognition of the fact that a large part of the East Indies Station had been detached to Australian waters, while also reflecting growing concern for the strategic situation in the western Pacific in general, and in Tahiti and New Zealand in particular.[1] Ships serving on the Station were assigned to the Australian Squadron.[1] In 1884 the station was upgraded to a rear admiral's command.[1]

At its establishment, the Australia Station encompassed Australia and New Zealand, with its eastern boundary including Samoa and Tonga, its western edge in the Indian Ocean, south of India and its southern edge defined by the Antarctic Circle. The boundaries were modified in 1864, 1872, 1893, and 1908.[4] At its largest, the Australia Station reached from the Equator to the Antarctic in its greatest north-south axis, and covered one quarter of the Southern Hemisphere in its extreme east-west dimension, including Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Melanesia and Polynesia.[5]

In 1913, the Australian Squadron was disbanded, and responsibility for the Station was handed over to the new Royal Australian Navy, at which time it covered Australia and its island dependencies to the north and east.[1] At the same time it was reduced to exclude New Zealand and from then until 1921, when a separate New Zealand Station was established, New Zealand and its surrounds were part of the China Station.[6] In 1958 the Australia Station was redrawn again, no longer including New Zealand but now including Papua New Guinea.[1]

Commanders-in-Chief, Australia Station

The following is a list of the Royal Navy officers who occupied the post of Commander-in-Chief, Australia Station.

Rank Name Term began Term ended
Commander-in-Chief, Australia Station
Commodore William Loring 26 March 1859 10 March 1860
Commodore Beauchamp Seymour 10 March 1860 21 July 1862
Commodore William Burnett 21 July 1862 7 February 1863
Commodore William Wiseman 20 April 1863 23 May 1866
Commodore Rochfort Maguire 23 May 1866 28 May 1867
Commodore Rowley Lambert 28 May 1867 8 April 1870
Commodore Frederick Stirling 8 April 1870 22 May 1873
Commodore James Goodenough 22 May 1873 20 August 1875
Commodore Anthony Hoskins 7 September 1875 12 September 1878
Commodore John Wilson 12 September 1878 21 January 1882
Commodore James Erskine 21 January 1882 12 November 1884
Rear Admiral George Tryon 12 November 1884 1 February 1887
Rear Admiral Henry Fairfax 1 February 1887 10 September 1889
Rear Admiral Lord Charles Montagu Douglas Scott 10 September 1889 12 September 1892
Rear Admiral Nathaniel Bowden-Smith 12 September 1892 1 November 1894
Rear Admiral Cyprian Bridge 1 November 1894 1 November 1897
Rear Admiral Hugo Pearson 1 November 1898 1 October 1900
Rear Admiral Sir Lewis Beaumont 1 October 1900 10 November 1902
Vice Admiral Sir Arthur Fanshawe 10 November 1902 10 September 1905
Vice Admiral Sir Wilmot Fawkes 10 September 1905 31 December 1907
Vice Admiral Sir Richard Poore 31 December 1907 31 December 1910
Vice Admiral Sir George King-Hall 31 December 1910 23 June 1913

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Dennis et. al 2008, p.53.
  2. ^ Nicholls 1988, p. 2.
  3. ^ Graham 1967, p. 459.
  4. ^ Dennis et. al. 2008, p. 54.
  5. ^ Blunt 2002, p. 16–17.
  6. ^ McGibbon 2000, pp. 45–46.


  • Blunt, Adrienne (2002). Key Resources Guide on Australian Maritime Strategy. Canberra: Information and Research Services, Department of the Parliamentary Library. 
  • Dennis, Peter; Grey, Jeffrey; Morris, Ewan; Prior, Robin (2008). The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History (2nd ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195517842. OCLC 271822831. 
  • Graham, Gerald (1967). Great Britain in the Indian Ocean: A study of Maritime Enterprise 1810–1850. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0198213530. 
  • McGibbon, Ian (2000). The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Military History. Auckland: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195583760. 
  • Nicholls, Bob (1988). The Colonial Volunteers: The Defence Forces of the Australian Colonies 1836-1901. North Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 0043020038. 

Further reading

  • Frame, Tom (2004). No Pleasure Cruise: the story of the Royal Australian Navy. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1741142334. OCLC 55980812. 

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