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Tom Crean joins crew of HMS Ringarooma

Tom Crean joins crew of HMS Ringarooma Tom Crean Book

On February 15th 1900, serving as a Petty Officer 2nd Class,

After a two-year period of training on his return from the South American Station, Crean’s term of service would be ledgered to HMS Ringarooma from February 15th 1900 although it appears he didn’t commence service on Ringarooma until over two months later.

The Admiralty, seeking to relieve existing crews of the Australian Station, commissioned the cruiser HMS Diana to ferry replacement crews to man the Australian Squadron of Royal Navy ships, RingaroomaBoomerang and Torch.

Although the National Archives contain a record of the ship’s log for the journey, it would not include a list of names of those who were aboard. It is though, almost certain that among their number would be Tom Crean.  The ship left Plymouth bound for Sydney on 27th February 1900. Carrying 450 men, Diana arrived at Sydney on 21st April where Crean commenced his service three days later on 24th April, 1900 under the command of Captain Frederick St. George Rich.

He would serve on Ringarooma for almost two years before being recruited to Captain Scott’s ship RSS Discovery on December 10th 1901. During his time on Ringarooma Crean would travel to the majority of the islands off Australia’s North East Coast. Then known as the New Hebrides, the ship was on a mission to broker peace between warring tribes and happened at a time when Sydney, where the ship was based, was in the grip of the Bubonic plague. Tom Crean and his shipmates would spend a week in lockdown quarantine before the ship was declared safe to begin the island mission.

The photograph shown here was taken while Tom was serving on the Ringarooma. It was a time in his life that we know he wasn’t happy as he was subjected to a number of demotions. Better fortune would be found on his next posting to Discovery and Tom Crean would never suffer another demotion, only promotions throughout the rest of his time in the Navy.

Read Tom Crean’s full story. You can buy the book at the following link.

Biography of Tom Crean – Crean – The Extraordinary Life of an Irish Hero