Closing the chapter – the last Getting Division

Published on SBLT Kat Mulheron (author), LSIS Dove Smithett (photographer)

Location(s): Recruit School, HMAS Cerberus

Topic(s): HMAS Cerberus, Recruit School

Graduates of General Entry 313, Getting Division throw their hats in the air as a time honoured tradition as they are dismissed for the final time on completion of their graduation ceremony held at HMAS Cerberus, Victoria. (photo: ABIS Dove Smithett)
Graduates of General Entry 313, Getting Division throw their hats in the air as a time honoured tradition as they are dismissed for the final time on completion of their graduation ceremony held at HMAS Cerberus, Victoria.

Hundreds of family and friends gathered to watch as 63 of Navy’s newest sailors graduated from the RAN Recruit School, closing the chapter on the first stage of their training and advancing toward their careers within Navy.

General Entry Intake 313, Getting Division, will also be remembered in Australian Naval history as the last Getting Division to graduate from RAN Recruit School. In September 2012, Chief of Navy announced that Recruit School Divisions Waller, Rankin, Getting and Moran would be renamed in honour of sailors, rather than officers, who were lost in the service to their country.

Getting Division was first established in 1961 and named in honour of Captain Frank Edmond Getting, who was captain of HMAS Canberra (I) while she came under long-range torpedo fire from several Japanese cruisers on 9 August 1942. CAPT Getting was severely wounded yet remained at his post, refusing medical treatment. When later evacuated to an American hospital ship, he died of his wounds and was buried at sea.

Reviewing Officer for the parade, Deputy Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Michael van Balen, RAN, welcomed the guests and addressed the graduates on parade saying it was a privilege to share the occasion with them.

“Many have travelled long distances to be here today and the Navy greatly values the support you provide,” said RADM van Balen.

“Today’s graduation is a particularly unique and special event. CAPT Getting’s legacy has lived on in the presence of Getting Division here at HMAS Cerberus and shortly, in the new form as a Division at the Royal Australian Naval College, HMAS Creswell.”

RADM van Balen congratulated the graduates and encouraged them on their journey to pursue their training and service to Navy, taking them another step closer to serving at sea and defending Australia and its people.

Getting Division will be succeeded by Emms Division in honour of Leading Seaman Francis Bassett Emms, a Leading Cook who served aboard HMAS Kara Kara (I) during the Japanese air raids on Darwin on 19 February 1942. Despite a severe stomach wound, Emms manned a machine gun throughout the raid and it was only at the end of the battle that the extent of his injuries was realised. He was transported to the hospital ship Manunda but died enroute.

Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20130894.