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John Dumaresq CB CVO

Captain, Later Rear Admiral


CB - Commander of the Order of the Bath

CVO - Commander of the Royal Victorian Order

John Dumaresq was the first Australian born officer to command H.M. Australian Fleet.

The grandson of William John Dumaresq who came to Australia in 1825, John was born in Sydney in 1873 but moved to England at the age of two. At the age of 13 he entered the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, and soon after passing out specialised in torpedoes.

The scientific aspect greatly interested him and he invented and had introduced some of the most important instruments connected with fire control - the best known being the Dumaresq, by which the rate of movement of enemy ships is determined.

Captain Dumaresq commanded several ships during the early part of World War 1, notably HMS Shannon in the Battle of Jutland. Then to gain experience of light cruisers he was appointed to HMAS Sydney for nearly two years. During this period he designed and had fitted in that ship the first revolving platform for catapulting aircraft.

Whilst in command of HMS Repulse he took part in the Battle of Heligoland in November, 1917.

In 1919, as Commodore (First Class) he was appointed in command of H.M. Australian Fleet.

He was promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1921, and he retained command until April, 1922. 

He died in the Philippines on 22nd July, 1922 at the age of 49.


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