Admiral Nelson Sword of Excellence

Introduction

The Admiral Nelson Sword of Excellence is an annual award presented to an officer of the Royal Australian Navy who has continually displayed a degree of leadership consistent with the high standards set by Royal Navy Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson. The award commemorates the life and achievements of Admiral Nelson, and honours the traditions of leadership which allowed him to make such an exceptional contribution to international Navy culture. The Admiral Nelson Sword of Excellence, (officially called the Vice Admiral Viscount Nelson KB Trafalgar Bicentennial Sword of Excellence) is held in perpetuity at HMAS Stirling and is displayed in a glass cabinet in the Sir James Stirling Mess. Recipients of the award have their name engraved on the blade of the specially made sword, and wear a Chief of Navy Gold Commendation, as recognition of this prestigious award.

Origin

The concept for the award was first put forward to the Royal Australian Navy by members of The Nelson Society of Australia in 2005. The proposal was that the Nelson Society of Australia would acquire a naval pattern officer’s dress sword and present it to the RAN, to be awarded annually to an RAN warfare officer based in Western Australia. Then Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Chris Ritchie, RAN, approved the proposal in principle, but with the proviso that the award be extended to all RAN officers. The Nelson Society of Australia found a patron to sponsor the award, and the sword was acquired, reportedly one of the last ever made by famous sword manufacturer Wilkinsons.

The Admiral Nelson Sword of Excellence recipient for 2009, Lieutenant Commander Kerry Rohrsheim, stands with members of the Nelson Society of Australia, Mr Alan Ingham, left, and Mr Ron Ingham right.
The Admiral Nelson Sword of Excellence recipient for 2009, Lieutenant Commander Kerry Rohrsheim, stands with members of the Nelson Society of Australia, Mr Alan Ingham, left, and Mr Ron Ingham right. The award was the brainchild of the Ingham brothers, and is something that the Nelson Society of Australia is most proud of. 

Royal Australian Navy

The sword was dedicated at the Nelson Society of Australia’s Trafalgar Day Bicentenary Commemorative Service, held in St George’s Cathedral Perth, on Sunday 23 October 2005. It was received by Commodore Richard Shalders, RAN, on behalf of the Navy. The first presentation of the sword took place on Thursday 19 October 2006 at a ceremony at HMAS Stirling. The inaugural recipient was Commander Justin Jones, RAN, with the presentation being made by the then Commander of the Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Davyd Thomas, RAN.

Lieutenant Commander Calvin Timms, RAN, is presented the Vice Admiral Viscount Lord Nelson KB Trafalgar Bicentennial Sword of Excellence by Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN, and Nelson Society of Australia Chairman Mike Sargeant, during a lunch at the Sir James Stirling Mess at HMAS Stirling, WA.
Lieutenant Commander Calvin Timms, RAN, is presented the Vice Admiral Viscount Lord Nelson KB Trafalgar Bicentennial Sword of Excellence by Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN, and Nelson Society of Australia Chairman Mike Sargeant, during a lunch at the Sir James Stirling Mess at HMAS Stirling, WA.

Previous winners

Rank held at time of award

2006 Commander Justin Jones
2007 Commander David McDonald
2008 Not Awarded
2009 Lieutenant Commander Kerry Rohrsheim
2010 Lieutenant Commander Mark Sirois
2011 Lieutenant Clinton Moore
2012 Lieutenant Tony Hanneman
2013 Lieutenant Aaron Cochrane
2014 Lieutenant Nicholas Graney
2015 Lieutenant Commander Aditi Khanna
2016 Lieutenant Daniel Stavers
2017 Lieutenant Commander Matthew Cavedon
2018 Lieutenant Commander Calvin Timms
2019 Lieutenant Commander Adrian Eddy
2020 Lieutenant Commander Allan Dennis
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Special thanks to The Nelson Society of Australia for information relating to the Admiral Nelson Sword of Excellence:
http://www.nelsonsocietyaustralia.com.au.