- A.N. Other and NHSA Webmaster
- History - general, Obituaries
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- June 1991 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
By the end of the War 326 officers and 1286 ratings had been trained in A/S in RUSHCUTTER, and in addition a large number of officers had received short courses, including a league of nations of foreign officers. Two Long Courses were also trained in 1944 and 1945. RUSHCUTTER trained personnel were much sought after by the R. N. ships and I quote: “Value of R.A.N. trained A/S officers is held in such high esteem that Admiralty would be very glad to have more of them” unquote, signalled N.L.O. London in July, 1943.
Late in 1945, by now an Acting Captain, he was asked by the Naval Board if he would stay in Australia and organise the new Electrical Branch of the R.A.N. He accepted the challenge and produced a most efficient and successful branch, the members being much sought after by civilian firms, much to the detriment of the R.A.N., of course. His promotion to Captain R.N. (Ret) paralleled this employment as Captain R.A.N.
As his children had grown up in Australia he decided to stay here, and ”swallowed the anchor” on 27th September, 1956, after eighteen years of sterling service to the R.A.N. and Australia.
Newcs was a remarkable man. Who else has ever had the work and responsibility entailed in starting two branches of a navy, and doing it so successfully? He was first class organiser and leader, and with it all very modest.
This aspect of his career may interest you – his appointment issued on 23rd January, 1943 read –“A/Cdr –
RUSHCUTTER in command”. In the Navy List under RUSHCUTTER one reads:
1. Gunnery Instructional Centre.
2. Miscellaneous – Passage, Leave etc.
3. A/S School.
4. Officers undergoing A/S training courses.
5. Radar School.
6. Officers undergoing Radar Training courses.
7. Motor Launch School.
8. Mining Service.
9. Naval Auxiliary Patrol.
But this failed to show that Randwick Hospital Naval Wing, Canonbury Hospital, D.E.M.S. Staff officer and tenders KYBRA – training ship, some 8 MLs and S/M 09 were also his responsibility. I estimated that some 6000 personnel were under his wing. A light load for an Acting Commander!
Although he did so much for the R.A.N., his achievements were never publicly recognised, despite many efforts by his “old boys” for this to occur.
However, on the 24th April, 1989, he was awarded a CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF COMMENDATION for ”The outstanding contribution he made to the development of A/S Warfare Training in the Royal Australian Navy during World War II”.
But his name will remain before those people who formed and form the A/S, TAS Branch and the L Branch.
I believe he was a great New Australian.
He died in Adelaide on 16th January, 1991.
As our Patron he will be sadly missed and by the A/S Officers’ Association in particular. For years he came to Sydney to lead the A/S Branch in the Anzac Day march, and later in the year to attend the A/S Officers’ Annual Dinner.
Ill health caused him to abandon these visits, but only recently.
I was honoured by him at the unveiling of the A/S Branch plaque in the Garden Island Chapel when he asked me to make the speech.
I deem it a great honour to have been invited to deliver the Eulogy today.
May I close with an extract from a letter to me written by his daughter Sally Rasmussen: “However, as you can imagine, he fought a grand fight to the end and without complaint. I am so proud to have been his daughter”.
I think we can echo those remarks by saying, aren’t we all proud to have known such a well respected man?