Street Names of HMAS Cerberus

HMAS Cerberus interactive street map
HMAS Cerberus interactive street map
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HMAS Cerberus has a rich history with extensive links to notable personnel and ships from the past. Many of the streets and roads within the base have been named in recognition of individuals who have strong links to the base or ships with geographical connections to Victoria.


Streets named after historical ships

HMAS Ararat (I)

HMAS Ballarat (I)

HMAS Benalla (I)

HMAS Bendigo (I)

HMAS Castlemaine

HMAS Colac

HMAS Echuca

HMAS Geelong (I)

HMAS Horsham (I)

HMAS Mildura

HMAS Shepparton (I)

HMAS Stawell

HMAS Warrnambool (I)



Streets named after notable persons

Billy McBride Street

Bowden Street

Darby Allan Street

Dickson Circuit

Flinders Road

Henderson Road

Laidlaw Circuit

Maiden Circuit

McClemans Street

Meek Circuit

Sheean Avenue

Billy McBride Street

Petty Officer Photographer William ‘Billy’ McBride, CSM
Petty Officer Photographer William ‘Billy’ McBride, CSM

Named after Petty Officer Photographer William ‘Billy’ McBride, CSM (10 January 1955-14 April 2004), who joined the Royal Australian Navy as a 17-year-old in 1972, originally as a Steward.

Billy served for 32 years before passing away suddenly. He was the longest serving Aboriginal member of the RAN at the time of his passing.

Billy was an exceptional sportsman and Australian Rules player, who had planned to return to Western Australia to mentor and counsel Aboriginal young people and was preparing to retire from the RAN, taking part in a Resettlement Seminar at the time of his passing.








Bowden Street

Chief Officer Blair Thisbe Bowden
Chief Officer Blair Thisbe Bowden

Named after Chief Officer Blair Thisbe Bowden who enlisted in the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) on 9 January 1943 and undertook the inaugural WRAN Officer Training Course at HMAS Cerberus.

Blair was appointed Third Officer (Sub Lieutenant equivalent) on 15 February 1943, and posted to Sydney where she served variously in administrative appointments at shore establishments.

Promoted Acting Second Officer (Lieutenant) on 20 September 1943 she was later confirmed in that rank on 30 March 1944.

On 1 February 1945 Bowden attained the rank of First Officer (Lieutenant Commander) and became the senior serving WRANS Officer in the New South Wales command.

Following the cessation of hostilities naval authorities decided to disband the WRANS and some 2504 women had returned to civilian life.

Bowden’s appointment was terminated on 8 May 1946 at which time she left Australia to live in England.

On 18 July 1950 the Minister for the Navy announced the Government’s decision to re-establish the WRANS, reconstituting it as a permanent and integral arm of the RAN.

Blair Bowden was requested to return to Australia to assist. She assumed the duties of Director WRANS in March 1951 and was promoted Chief Officer (Commander) on 14 May 1951.

Blair held this position until 14 January 1954.

Born: 7 June 1916, Dunedin, New Zealand
Enlisted: 9 January 1943, HMAS Cerberus
Died: 30 September 1981, London, England


Darby Allan Street

Lieutenant William ‘Darby’ Evan Crawford Allan
Lieutenant William ‘Darby’ Evan Crawford Allan

Named after Lieutenant William ‘Darby’ Evan Crawford Allan who enlisted as a 14-year-old Boy Second Class and began his naval career in the boys’ training ship HMAS Tingira on 13 March 1914.

In July 1915 Allan joined the light cruiser HMAS Encounter (I), during which he experience active service in the South West Pacific area and Malay Archipelago. Allan left Encounter in August 1918 for passage to the United Kingdom in the transport Barambah. He then joined the cruiser HMAS Sydney (I) in Scotland one week after the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet. Sydney returned to Australia in July 1919.

Post-WWI he served in HMAS Brisbane (I) (September 1919- August 1922), and HMAS Adelaide (I) (August 1922-June 1926), and promoted to Leading Seaman in November 1919, and then to Petty Officer in June 1922. Allan returned to Tingira in June 1926 for instructional duties until it was decommissioned in June 1927. This was followed by postings to HMAS Penguin (I), HMAS Melbourne (I), and heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (II).

In mid-1929 Allan joined HMAS Penguin and was promoted to Chief Petty Officer in April 1932. He remained in Penguin throughout the early years of the Great Depression until January 1933, when he briefly served in the seaplane carrier HMAS Albatross (I). In 1933 he proceeded to England to commission the Scott Class Flotilla Leader HMAS Stuart (I). He left Stuart to join the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (I) in July 1934.

In late 1936 the Australian Government agreed to send a contingent of servicemen to England to represent Australia at the coronation of King George VI on 12 May 1937. The naval detachment was to be 25 in number and led by a Commissioned Warrant Officer. Allan volunteered and was selected to join the Coronation Contingent.

In August 1937 he began duty at the Royal Australian Naval College at HMAS Cerberus, instructing the young Cadet Midshipmen in the art of sailing and seamanship. In early 1938 the College underwent an organisational change from the ‘year’ system to the ‘house’ system, and he assumed the mantle of the ‘Flinders House’ Chief Petty Officer.

After the outbreak of WWII, Allan saw active service in the armed merchant cruiser HMS Moreton Bay. While serving in Moreton Bay, his Commanding Officer had recommended Allan for promotion to Warrant Rank (in his case Boatswain). He was duly promoted to Acting Boatswain, effective 9 July 1942, and appointed to the instructional staff at the new Officers’ Training School.

In July 1944 he was posted to HMAS Ladava, the RAN depot at Milne Bay in New Guinea, for service as the Pier Master. From Ladava, he was appointed again to the cruiser Australia as the ship’s boatswain. The ship sustained considerable battle damage at Lingayen Gulf and proceeded direct to Sydney for repair. Allan left the ship in May 1945 to assume duty as the Instructional Boatswain at the New Entry School at Cerberus. Promoted to Acting Commissioned Boatswain in January 1946, he saw out the remainder of his naval career instructing at Cerberus. He was highly regarded by his superiors and commanded the respect of his subordinates - Commodore Henry Showers RAN, then Commodore Superintendent of Training, was strong in his recommendation that Allan’s services be retained, despite the post war personnel reductions.

Allan retired from the Navy on 30 October 1947 and in 1948 the Naval Board wrote to him confirming that he had been granted the War Service Rank of Lieutenant. Allan passed away on 17 October 2005 at the venerable age of 106. He was the last remaining Australian veteran to see active war service in the Great War. He was farewelled with a State Funeral at St Mark’s Chapel, HMAS Cerberus, on 25 October 2005.


Dickson Circuit

Commodore Jim Dickson
Commodore Jim Dickson RAN

Named in honour of Jim Dickson who joined the RAN College (RANC), HMAS Cerberus as a 13-year-old Cadet Midshipman in January 1950.

As a Sub Lieutenant Jim gained his watch-keeping ticket in the ocean minesweeper HMAS Cootamundra (a Bathurst Class corvette) followed by postings to HMA Ships Tobruk (I) and Leeuwin to open up the Junior Recruit Training Establishment in 1960.

This was followed by navigation training in the UK and two years exchange service with the Royal Navy.

On return to Australia, he served in HMAS Melbourne (II) before command of the inshore minesweeper HMAS Gull and then navigating HMAS Perth (II) during her first deployment to the Vietnam War in 1967-1968.

Following Staff Course in UK (1969) he posted to HMAS Sydney (III), navigating the ship on the ‘Sydney-Vung Tau ferry’ run to Vietnam through 1970, prior to returning to Melbourne as Fleet Navigator.

In 1972, now Commander Dickson was posted as Executive Officer of RAN College at HMAS Creswell and retuned to sea in command of HMAS Yarra (III) in 1975.

He attended the US Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island prior to being promoted to Captain and serving three years in charge of the Naval Combat Data System centre at Fyshwick.

He returned to sea in command of HMAS Brisbane (II) in November 1980, for his final sea posting.

From 1982 to 1987, mostly at the rank of Commodore, Jim served as the Director of Public Information for Defence, and later as Director General Naval Policy and Plans, separated by his attendance at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London in 1985.

In 1988 Commodore Dickson assumed the dual postings of command of Cerberus and Naval Officer Commanding Victoria. Late in 1989 he acquired a third ‘hat’ as Commodore Training.

He resigned from the RAN in October 1990 and settled on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria.

The proposed roadway to be named after Commodore Dickson loops Building 116. This building was formerly part of the Cerberus based RANC and later served as the Command Administration Building.

Acknowledgement: HMAS Sydney Association (Vic Inc) - Wardroom - Patron - Commodore JS Dickson, AM, MBE, RAN (Ret’d)


Flinders Road

Matthew Flinders - sailor, surveyor, navigator and scientist
Matthew Flinders - sailor, surveyor, navigator and scientist

Named after Matthew Flinders, Royal Navy (1774-1814) an outstanding sailor, surveyor, navigator and scientist, who charted much of Australia’s coastline.

In his 1814 book ‘A Voyage to Terra Australis’, published after his death, Flinders was the first to use the name ‘Australia’ consistently, and as a result the name was gradually adopted.

Based on the Henderson Report (1911) the Commonwealth Government developed a naval depot at Westernport in support of the local anchorage area already in use.

The depot, during construction and at the time of initial commissioning as HMAS Cerberus (III), was known as Flinders Naval Depot, named after Matthew Flinders.

Despite being commissioned as HMAS Cerberus (I) on 1 April 1921, the well-established name ‘Flinders Naval Depot’ endured as the primary term of reference for many years.

Naming a primary roadway ‘Flinders’ is considered appropriate recognition of the man, the origins of the base and provides links to past and future vessels of the RAN.




Henderson Road

Named after Admiral Sir Reginald Henderson KCB, RN, author of the initial report to the Commonwealth Government on the general administration, organisation and distribution (suitable locations) for the fledging RAN.

The report, written in 1911, recommended the ongoing use and further development of Port Western (Western Port) as a destroyer and submarine base, naval depot and torpedo school.

Born: 1 September 1881, Falmouth, Cornwall, England
Enlisted: 1895, Royal Navy, HMS Britannia as a naval cadet.
Died: 2 May 1939, Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar, Portsmouth, England


Laidlaw Circuit

Matron Annie Ina Laidlaw
Matron Annie Ina Laidlaw

Named after Matron Annie Ina Laidlaw who was appointed to the Australian Army Nursing Service on 30 June 1917. Laidlaw was immediately sent to India where she served in military hospitals at Bombay and Poona. She returned to Melbourne in March 1919 and her army nursing appointment terminated.

Back at the Melbourne Children’s Hospital, she worked as a ward sister until 1925 when she was granted leave to undertake midwifery training at the Royal Hospital for Women, Sydney. She resumed her post at the Children’s Hospital and in January 1926 became Assistant Lady Superintendent (assistant-matron).

In 1930 she was promoted to Lady Superintendent of the hospital’s orthopaedic section at Frankston, Victoria where she worked under the medical superintendent Dr John Colquhoun.

The Royal Australian Naval Nursing Service (RANNS) was formed in 1942. Surgeon Captain WJ Carr, nominated her to head the new service; on 20 April she was appointed Superintending Sister, with the equivalent rank of Lieutenant Commander.

She assisted in the selection of qualified nurses suitable for recruitment as RANNS officers. Initially, twelve were chosen in Melbourne and twelve in Sydney. Their numbers rose to sixty before World War II ended. They served in naval hospitals in Sydney and Darwin, at Milne Bay, Papua, and at Flinders Naval Depot, Westernport, Victoria.

They staffed naval sick-quarters in Brisbane and Canberra, at Townsville and Cairns, Queensland, and at Fremantle, Western Australia; some of them were attached to Army and Air Force hospitals. Laidlaw visited her staff at their various postings.

Based at HMAS Cerberus, she had charge of the establishment’s hospital in addition to her responsibilities for the whole of the RANNS.

In March 1943 she was promoted Matron.

Laidlaw and her colleagues shared their living quarters with officers of the WRANS, but had their own officers’ mess where meals and services were provided by WRANS cooks and stewards.

The nurses’ duties included training men as sick-berth attendants to prepare them for employment at sea. There was some resentment among male members of the Medical Branch who felt that their positions were being usurped. Laidlaw overcame the difficulty.

One nursing officer recalled that she “was of sterling worth...a born leader, a woman of tremendous courage”.

After Laidlaw’s RANNS appointment ended on 15 March 1946, she returned to her position at the orthopaedic division of the Children’s Hospital and remained there until 1950.


Maiden Circuit

Warrant Officer Lenore ‘Lennie’ Maiden
Warrant Officer Lenore ‘Lennie’ Maiden

Named after Warrant Officer Lenore ‘Lennie’ Maiden who joined the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) in January 1956 from Wauchope, NSW.

Following initial entry training Lennie undertook category training as a steward serving chiefly in HMAS Cerberus and HMAS Harman, she also spent time in HMAS Coonawarra, HMAS Albatross and HMAS Penguin.

One of the longest serving members of the WRANS, Lennie was a recipient of the Naval Long Service and Good Conduct medal, a rare distinction during a time when it was difficult for women to complete 15 years unbroken service.

In 1972 Lennie was promoted Warrant Officer, becoming the first naval servicewoman to attain that rank, and in 1977 she was awarded the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal while serving in Cerberus.

After 29 years of service, Lennie retired from the RAN in 1984 but continued her support and association with the Navy through the WRANS Association.

An active sportswoman, Lennie participated in the Red Cross Murray River marathon canoe races as well as representing the Navy in inter-Service hockey, softball, swimming and athletics.

Born: 14 June 1937, Claremont, Taree, NSW
Enlisted: January 1956, HMAS Cerberus
Died: 30 March 2020, Mcleay Island, Queensland



McClemans Street

Chief Officer Sheila Mary McClemans
Chief Officer Sheila Mary McClemans

Named after Chief Officer Sheila Mary McClemans, co-founder of Kingston & McClemans, the first all-female law firm in Western Australia, and became the first woman barrister to appear before the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

She enlisted in the WRANS on 11 January 1943 at HMAS Leeuwin as a WRAN rating and completed the inaugural WRANS Officer Training Course at Cerberus.

Promoted to Third Officer on 15 February 1943, Sheila was appointed to the staff of the Director of Naval Reserves and Mobilisation, Navy Office, Melbourne. Her excellent leadership and organisational skills earned her rapid promotion being appointed Second Officer in July 1943 and First Officer in November 1943.

ln January 1944 First Officer McClemans was appointed to administer the WRANS, and in August she was appointed as the Director of the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service.

Promoted to Chief Officer in January 1945 she continued to serve as the Director WRANS until her appointment in the Navy ceased, on 27 February 1947.

Rear Admiral George Dunbar Moore, formerly second naval member of the Australian Naval Board, attributed the success of the WRANS during WWII largely to Sheila McClemans’ “untiring interest in the welfare of every WRAN, her kindness, and perhaps above all her sound common sense”.

Before her appointed ceased in 1947 and the WRANS formally disbanded, she submitted a paper entitled ‘Proposals for a Permanent WRANS’.

Sheila was appointed as an Officer of the Order of British Empire (QBE), in the Military List, on the King’s Birthday Honours List 1951 “for services as Director of the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service”.

Born: 3 May 1909, Claremont, WA
Enlisted 11 January 1943, HMAS Leeuwin
Died: 10 June 1988, Claremont, WA


Meek Circuit

Leading Seaman Bradley Meek
Leading Seaman Bradley Meek

Named after Leading Seaman Bradley Meek who sacrificed his life to evacuate shipmates during an engine room fire in HMAS Westralia on 5 May 1998. LS Meek joined the RAN in 1990 as a marine technician and has been recognised for his bravery by the posthumous award of a Chief of Defence Force Commendation, a Group Citation for Bravery, and in 2016, a Bravery Medal.

The Bradley Meek Perpetual Shield is presented annually in his memory to the best RAN School of Survivability and Ship Safety instructor.

The roadway to be named after Leading Seaman Meek is in the Marine Engineering training precinct of HMAS Cerberus, immediately adjacent the engine room practical training facility.








Sheean Avenue

Ordinary Seaman Edward ‘Teddy’ Sheean VC
Ordinary Seaman Edward ‘Teddy’ Sheean VC

Sheean Avenue is the main thoroughfare from the western entrance to the primary Access Control Point for entry into HMAS Cerberus.

Named to honour the memory of Ordinary Seaman Edward ‘Teddy’ Sheean VC (Victoria Cross).

It is fitting that the entrance to the base recognises the first member of the RAN to be awarded Australia’s highest honour for valour, and in doing so welcomes future generations of Navy and ADF personnel, in general, into Service and HMAS Cerberus - ‘the Cradle of the Navy’.

Born: 28 December 1923, Lower Barrington, Tasmania
Enlisted: 21 April 1941, Royal Australian Naval Reserve as an Ordinary Seaman
Killed in Action: 1 December 1941, HMAS Armidale by Japanese aircraft attack