Australia’s Argonauts

Pictured: the exposed gun mounts of HMAS Sydney.

Just released is a remarkable publication telling the story of the first cadet-midshipmen to enter the Royal Australian Naval College which is without parallel.

In 1913 twenty-eight 13 year old boys joined the new Navy at a time when Australia was both idealistic and ambitious. The boys were drawn from every State and became known as the ‘Pioneer Class’.

The book is the result of 15 years research by its author Vice Admiral Peter David Jones AO, DSC (Retired) who himself joined the Royal Australian Naval College as a 16-year-old cadet midshipman. Peter served in the RAN for 40 years until his retirement in October, 2014. His sea service included the command of the frigate HMAS Melbourne and later command of the multinational Maritime Interception Force during the 2003 Iraq War for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the US Legion of Merit.

Peter is an Adjunct Professor and a member of the Naval Studies Group at the University of the New South Wales campus at the Australian Defence Force Academy and is also President of the Australian Naval Institute. This is his first book…