No.2986 Frederick James Cations
Frederick Cations was born on 14 June 1893 to Robert Cations and Margaret Evelyn Watts at Shelford in Victoria.
His siblings were:
- Alice Evelyn Erler (nee Cations) (1895-1967)
- Richard Cations (A.I.F.) (1897-1982)
- Christina May (May) Jenkins (nee Cations) (1899-1988)
- William Cations (1902-1992)
- Robert Cations (1904-1987)
- Ettie O’Driscoll (nee Cations) (1906-1987)
- Margaret Evelyn Cations (1908-1911)
- Ida Torney (nee Cations) (1911-1996)
At the age of 20, Frederick enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy at Melbourne on 9 May 1913 as a Stoker II, and was sent to H.M.A.S. Cerberus at Williamstown for training. (The former ironclad ship of the same name, was gathering barnacles out in the bay.)
He then saw service on the following Ships:
On H.M.A.S. Encounter (a Cruiser in service between 1912 and 1929) between 21 May 1913 and 15 November 1913. This was a second-class cruiser that had been formerly operated by the Royal Navy. It was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy on 1 July 1912 as a training Cruiser. She steamed into Sydney Harbour on 4 October 1914 as part of the Australian Fleet Unit (with Stoker Cations on board). The ship mainly operated in Australian waters, pending the arrival of H.M.A.S. Brisbane.
His second ship was H.M.A.S. Melbourne  (a Light Cruiser in service between 1913 and 1928) and he served on it between 16 November 1913 and 15 April 1914. H.M.A.S. Melbourne was also part of the Australian Fleet Unit that entered Sydney Harbour on the 4 October 1914. Stoker Cations joined the crew, and after the outbreak of war, the Melbourne was engaged in operations against German colonies in the Pacific.
Frederick Cations was promoted to Stoker on 16 April 1914, and remained with the Melbourne until 1 February 1916. During this time the Melbourne was part of the Naval escort for the first convoy that took Australian troops to the Middle East. The convoy departed from Albany on 1 November 1914, and as the ships passed Colombo, the Melbourne was ordered to leave the convoy, and to proceed to the Atlantic. While there, it was based at Bermuda, along with the H.M.A.S. Sydney, and they patrolled the islands of the West Indies as well as the east coast of North America.
He then spent time ashore at the London Depot R.A.N. between 2 February 1916 and 16 March 1916, before returning to Australia.
A further period ashore followed, with H.M.A.S. Cerberus at Garden Island between 17 March 1916 and 4 December 1916. It was during this time that Frederick was able to return to Werribee briefly, to visit his parents.
Late in 1916 Frederick married Henrietta Hibbert, and she became his nominated Next of Kin. Her address was 146 Hotham Street, Melbourne. There is no further record of Henrietta after that date.
Frederick returned to action briefly on H.M.A.S. Brisbane  (a Light Cruiser operating between 1916 and 1929) between 5 December 1916 and 11 December 1916. The ship then was not quite two months old, and was preparing to sail for war service in the Mediterranean. For reasons unknown, he didn’t make the voyage. A comment was then entered on his service record, that he was approved to be retained for shore service during the period of the war.
His next ship was H.M.A.S. Penguin at Balmoral, Sydney, between 12 December 1916 and 15 January 1917. This was a Depot Ship that was in service between 1913 and 1923. (Originally, it was a composite sloop, commissioned by the Royal Navy. It was transferred to the R.A.N. in 1913 as a depot ship, and was permanently berthed at Garden Island in Sydney, until 1923).
Werribee Shire Banner, 25 May 1916 p.3, reported his visit home to his parents in Werribee.
He was transferred back to H.M.A.S. Cerberus at Williamstown between 16 January 1917 and 23 May 1917, and returned to H.M.A.S. Penguin at Balmoral, between 24 May 1917 and 14 November 1917
After a brief time back at H.M.A.S. Cerberus, Williamstown, between 15 November 1917 and 28 November 1917, Frederick was sent to his final posting at the R.A.N. College, Jervis Bay, between 29 November 1917 and 9 May 1920. After his seven year term of engagement had expired, he was then discharged back to civilian life.
In the 1919 Electoral Roll, Frederick was recorded as Stoker at the Naval Depot at Williamstown.
In the 1931 Electoral Roll he was living at Pitt Street in Ringwood, and was working as a engine fitter. He continued working with engines, and in 1943, he was recorded as living in Preston with Ettie Cations, and his occupation was an engineer. By 1954 he and Ettie had moved to Box Hill, and he was working as a foreman. 1968 saw him living at Bentleigh South, in retirement, with Ettie, and he died there in 1975.
Medals & Entitlements:
No war service medals are listed on his service record.
His first Good Conduct Badge was approved on 9 May 1916, after 3 years service.
He was presented with a Werribee Shire Gold Medal on 26 June 1919.
His record is stamped as “not entitled to receive the Anzac Medal.”
The Werribee Shire Banner, 18 March 1937 p.2, printed an obituary for Frederick’s father, and it listed details of all of the children of the marriage.
Frederick’s name is recorded on the Werribee Church of England Honor Board, the Shire of Werribee Honor Board, and the Werribee Shire Banner Roll of Honor.
His brother Richard enlisted in the A.I.F. in the First World War. He served in the 23rd Battalion, and his service number was 2593.
Pioneer Index Victoria 1836-1888 – CD
Federation Index Victoria 1889-1901 – CD
Great War Index Victoria 1914-1920 – CD