Passing the baton - from one hero to another

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

Location(s): HMAS Cerberus, VIC

Topic(s): Recruit School, Taylor Division, HMAS Yarra (II)

General Entry 315, Taylor Division offer a salute to the Reviewing Officer, Chief of Navy, VADM Ray Griggs as they 'march past' during their graduation ceremony held at HMAS Cerberus.
 (photo: ABIS Dove Smithett)
General Entry 315, Taylor Division offer a salute to the Reviewing Officer, Chief of Navy, VADM Ray Griggs as they 'march past' during their graduation ceremony held at HMAS Cerberus.

Family members of Leading Seaman (LS) Ronald ‘Buck’ Taylor attended a Naming Ceremony on Friday 27 September, to commemorate the renaming of the building that will be home to many future Recruits commencing their careers as Taylor Division sailors.

Previously known as Rankin Division in honour of Lieutenant Commander Robert William Rankin, RAN who went down with his ship HMAS Yarra (II) on 4 March 1942, the title was officially passed to the new Taylor Division, named in honour of LS Ron Taylor, who served under LCDR Rankin onboard HMAS Yarra (II) during its final conflict.

Garry Taylor, great nephew to LS Ron Taylor, spoke of his great uncles history serving the RAN and how proud the family was of his actions and the recognition the RAN was bestowing on their ancestor ‘Buck’ Taylor. The Taylor family acknowledged the bravery and heroism of Buck and all the crew members aboard the HMAS Yarra (II).

“There are a number of Buck’s relatives that have worked tirelessly to achieve the respect, gratitude and honour that our beloved brave Buck Taylor and all aboard the HMAS Yarra (II) rightly deserve,” said Garry Taylor.

Sister of Leading Seaman Ronald 'Buck' Taylor, Faye Huxley and Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN, unveil the Taylor Division plaque during the Naming Ceremony held at the Royal Australian Navy Recruit School, HMAS Cerberus.

Sister of Leading Seaman Ronald 'Buck' Taylor, Faye Huxley and Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN, unveil the Taylor Division plaque during the Naming Ceremony held at the Royal Australian Navy Recruit School, HMAS Cerberus.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN and Mrs Faye Huxley, LS Taylor’s younger sister, jointly unveiled the new name plaque identifying the Taylor Division building. VADM Griggs was pleased to note the strong support from both the Taylor family and the HMAS Yarra association.

“I’ve always thought it strange that the divisions where we train almost all our sailors, here at Recruit School, were named after officers and not sailors. This was one of the things that I could change, so it’s very special for me to be here,” said VADM Griggs.

“The Yarra story is well known here at Recruit School through Rankin Division and it will continue to live on through Taylor Division.”

In September 2012 VADM Griggs announced that Recruit School Divisions would be renamed to recognise the distinguished service of sailors throughout the history of the Royal Australian Navy.

During a Graduation Parade later in the day, General Entry 315 was the first Taylor Division to graduate from Recruit School. Over 400 proud family and friends witnessed the occasion and helped in honouring the bravery and actions of those that served on HMAS Yarra (II) with LCDR Robert Rankin and LS Ron Taylor.

HMAS Yarra (II) is the first ship in the RAN to be awarded a Unit Citation for Gallantry. CN closed his address by congratulating the 90 new Taylor Division graduates in becoming Sailors and in becoming part of the RAN’s 100 years of loyal service to Australia.

Imagery of the Taylor naming ceremony is available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20131576 and imagery of the first Taylor Division graduation is available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20131582.

General Entry 315, Taylor Division celebrate as they are dismissed for the final time on completion of their graduation ceremony held at HMAS Cerberus.

General Entry 315, Taylor Division celebrate as they are dismissed for the final time on completion of their graduation ceremony held at HMAS Cerberus.