Webinar: The Yachties: Australian Volunteers in the Royal Navy 1940-45. - Speaker: Janet Roberts Billett


From: Wednesday December 6, 2023, 5:00 pm

To: Wednesday December 6, 2023, 5:45 pm

CANCELLED - to be re-scheduled

The Yachties: Australian Volunteers in the Royal Navy 1940-45.

Online ZOOM Presentation


This book is a unique saga of exceptional valour of Australian volunteers who served in World War II as officers in the Royal Navy. Their recruitment, training and war service is detailed and was as diverse as it was dangerous. They served in the Atlantic and Arctic convoys, Combined Operations which included the amphibious landings, covert operations and mine-sweeping. Ten volunteers distinguished themselves in Rendering Mines Safe. Many towards the end of the war returned to Australia and served with the Royal Australian Navy in South East Asia. As a cohort, they are probably the most highly decorated Australian servicemen.

The Yachties was launched by Vice Admiral Peter Jones AO DSC (Retd), President of the Australian Naval Institute at the 2023 Goldrick Seminar in the Adams Auditorium, Australian Defence Force Academy on 19 October 2023.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mark Hammond AO was Keynote speaker and ensured that he was in photos taken with the author and the Yachties’ families in attendance.

It was a very emotional and also poignant occasion for the author and the families concerned. Later that day the Yachties were remembered at the Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial. The first casualty. Ordinary Seaman Bill McGregor who was killed in an air-raid on 27 April 1941 in Portsmouth Barracks was the Yachtie who represented the volunteers on the day.

View "Speakers" for information on Jan Roberts-Billett and an optional book order form.

About the presenter

Janet Roberts Billett MA (Hons) BA Dip. Ed. is an historian specialising in Commemorations and Oral History relating to veterans. Her background has been in teaching, specifically history and politics, at secondary and tertiary levels.

In 2004 she wrote Memories of War: Members of The Naval and Military Club recall World War II, which included over fifty interviews. As the Club’s Honorary Archivist she also researched the catalogue for the auction of the Club in 2010.

In 2005 she assisted the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne in researching the background of the Changi Flag, which was unveiled 11 February 2005.

Her Master of Arts thesis, The Yachties: Australian Volunteers in the Royal Navy 1940–45: A Study of Memory and Identity, was completed in 2007. In 2017 she organised, with the assistance of the RAN, a plaque at the Australian War
Memorial to commemorate the approximately fifteen hundred Australians who served with the Royal Navy during World War II, of whom the Yachties made up a third.

Download an order form for the book

Janet Roberts Billett


Bookings are now closed


Zoom webinar

ONLINE, Melbourne VIC 3000

Speaker: Janet Roberts Billett

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