Unseen we seek the enemy in Silent Service. We are at the forefront of national defence, we are the vanguard. With skill and resolve we conduct our training and our mission. Courage and tenacity are our greatest weapons. Against all odds, fearless and ferocious we will fight on in our charge to defend the weak.
Australian sailors who qualify as submariners are awarded a badge depicting two dolphins and a crown. Known as a sailor's "dolphins" the badge is a particular point of pride for those who serve in this section of the Navy. The design is the work of Commander (later Captain) Alan H. McIntosh, who was part of a submarine project team formed in 1964 to address the lack of signature wear for submariners at the time. The dolphins on his submarine supporter's tie inspired the inclusion of the animal in the design and the crown was drawn from the florin, which was the two shilling piece of the time.
On 25 July 1966, the RAN issued Navy Order No 411, which stated who was eligible to wear the submarine badge and how. Lieutenant Commander (later Commander) Henry Cook RAN, an ex Royal Navy submariner who was Director of Submarine Policy at the time, was given the distinction of being the first submariner to wear the dolphins.
'O Father hear our prayer to Thee. From a humble crew beneath Thy sea In deepest oceans as oft we stray. So far removed from night and day
We ask Thy guiding light to glow. To make our journey safe, below. May ours be clarity of mind, and Let the darkness not us blind
Give us strength when we go deep. Charge our batteries when we sleep. From homes and loved ones far away. We beg Thy gentle care each day.
Pray we Thy guiding hand to show. Course, speed, and depth that we should go. Until we surface once again. To breathe Thine air and feel Thy rain.
On each occasion, Lord, we dive. May we later on the roof arrive. Till a final ballast blow is due. When let us, watches Red, White and Blue, join the saints in Thy spare crew.
How the Skull and Crossbones became the emblem of submarines during wartime. When the Royal Navy Submarine Service was formed just over 100 years ago, submarines were quite unpopular. The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Arthur K. Wilson VC, was one of many vocal opponents of the submarine's introduction to the Royal Navy. He stated that submarines were "underhand, underwater and damned un-English…no occupation for a gentleman." He also declared that any submariner captured during a time of war should be 'hanged as a pirate.'
In September 1914, Lieutenant Commander Max Horton, the Captain of HM Submarine E9, attacked and sank the German light cruiser Hela, the first enemy warship sunk in Word War 1. On returning to harbour he flew from his raised periscope a black flag with the skull and crossbones on it, reportedly having a 'dig' at Admiral Wilson.
The next known occasion of the flying of the Jolly Roger was on the 27th of June 1915. E12, under the command of Lt. Boyle VC, was returning to ANZAC Cove, from a second patrol into the Dardanelles and flew a red flag with the skull and crossbones on it.
The Jolly Roger was next flown by HM Submarine Osiris, in World War II. In October 1941, Admiral Sir Max Horton, Flag Officer Submarines (later to become Commander-in-Chief, Western Approaches & North Atlantic), paid a visit to the Squadron in the Mediterranean. On learning that the submarine Osiris was due in from her latest patrol, after sinking the Italian torpedo boat Palestro, he sent a signal to the Osiris telling her that a motorboat was on its way to meet her at the harbour entrance, where she would be handed a parcel. It was a Jolly Roger, to be flown to indicate its successful patrol.
Thereafter, each time a submarine returned from a victorious wartime patrol, it flew its Jolly Roger, with the symbols on it showing the success for all to see.