Tracing Gregory family history

January 29, 2011

Dear Mac Gregory,

A friend has just given me an article from the  Seniors News featuring your naval history. 

My reason for contacting you is that you may be able to assist me in my research into tracing our Gregory family history, past and present.

We have, to my present knowledge, three different family lines, one is from northern Ireland, one from Scotland and the other from London.

Our family came to Australia in 1852  from Ireland, via Plymouth to Geelong and then to Gippsland.

I would be interested to know whether our families are connected in any way, and i would be happy to discuss further on this matter.

-David Gregory,
Alberton West

Hello David,

My Mother and Father were both English, from Essex.

After serving in WW1 in the Second Dragoon Guards, Queen's Bays in both France and Belgium, my Father was an Old Contemptible, Dad  joined the Royal Australian Navy in London in 1919, and came to Australia in the J Class submarine, J2 ( one of 6 J Class gifted by the Royal Navy to the RAN) being towed all the way by the
Submarine Tender Platypus, these boats were based at Osborne House Geelong. Thus I was born at Geelong on February 9, 1922, ( an only child ) Mother with my maternal grandmother Ellen Greening came out to
Australia and Geelong by steamer. We lived in a weatherboard house at 191 Upper Hope Street Geelong, where by repute I was born on the Kitchen Table.

AE 1, AE 2, and J Class Submarines in The Royal Australian Navy

This work about the early submarines of the Royal Australian Navy, is dedicated to my late father Jesse Herbert Gregory BEM...

My Mother and Father's Wedding Day

My Mother, Minnie Winifred Greening, married my Father, Jesse Herbert Gregory, at St Mary’s The Virgin Anglican Church, Prittlewell Essex, on the 24th. of August 1918. This old church, dates back to the Saxon period, and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Early in the twelfth century Robert de Essex, the Lord of the Manor, made a grant to enable the foundation of Prittlewell Priory...

My Mother's brother Arthur Mackenzie Greening ( from whom I was given the christian name of Mackenzie ) lived in Adelaide with a large number of my cousins, he had come to Australia as a Gunner from the Royal Navy,
and went on to become a Lieutenant Commander RAN, and taught the first diving course in the RAN.

I joined the Royal Australian Naval College in January 1936 as one of twelve Cadet Midshipmen, went to sea in August 1939 as a 17 year old, and served at sea or overseas for the 6 years of WW2. Was sunk in the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra, at the Battle of Savo Island in the Solomons by the Japanese Navy on August 9, 1942, being on her bridge as Officer of the Watch when that battle commenced.

Finished the war in HMAS Shropshire, to be in Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender on Sunday September 2, 1945.

Married Gladys Anne Poulton in Melbourne on December 22, 1945.

Post war qualified as the first Torpedo Anti-Submarine Specialist Officer in the RAN at RN schools over 1947/8.

Resigned as a Lieutenant Commander RAN in 1954 for personal reasons (our first born child a girl, Gladys Nan died from meningitis at only a month old ) Now have three daughters, Jayne, Anne and Sue and a son Raymond ( 50 last December )

Served as Aide-de Camp to His Excellency the Governor General of Australia over 1950/1953.

In November last I was awarded the Shrine of Remembrance Medal for 2010.

Mac Gregory, recipient of Shrine of Remembrance Medal for 2010

The Shrine of Remembrance Medal recognizes an individual or group that has made outstanding contributions to the advancement of community knowledge and understanding of the service and sacrifices made by Victorians for their country in times of war and peacekeeping...

David, I guess I have waffled on long enough.

Best wishes,

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