Commander Edward Wilfred ‘Jake’ Linton BEM MCD RAN

Commander Edward Wilfred ‘Jake’ Linton BEM MCD RAN

Commander Edward Wilfred ‘Jake’ Linton BEM MCD RAN Edward ‘Jake’ Linton was born on 31 January 1935 in Preston, Victoria.  He joined the Navy on the 17th March 1952 and following completion of his initial training at HMAS Cerberus his first posting as a seaman was to HMAS Australia.

It was late 1954, Jake was 19 years old, married, an Able Seaman employed as a Main Gate Sentry at Naval Headquarters at Potts Point, not making enough money to pay his wife’s medical bills and short on answers to the situation.  He spent every second night working in Playfairs freezers in The Rocks and life did not hold a lot of promise.

Then on the notice board at HMAS Kuttabul there was a message calling for volunteers to form the first Clearance Divers Course, and offering tuppence (two pence) or 1 cent a minute for diving time.  This was the answer; tuppence a minute translated into 120 pence an hour or 10 shillings ($1).  In short, if accepted, he could give up his job at Playfairs and meet his financial commitments.  Naturally he volunteered and was accepted.  However, there was just one hurdle and that was a test dive off the wharf at HMAS Rushcutter, using the Salvus Fire Fighting Apparatus rigged for diving, and wearing a suit aptly named ‘The Clammy Death’.  Jake remembers surfacing and complaining that his throat was burning and was promptly persuaded to go down again by a push from the boot of the Supervisor.


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