Gloucester Cup

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The Gloucester Cup is the common name for three awards of the Australian Defence Force. Formally referred to as the Duke of Gloucester Cup, the three awards are presented to the most efficient infantry battalion of the Australian Army, ship of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), and squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during the previous year. The awards were created by Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester in 1946, while he was serving as the Governor-General of Australia, and were first presented in 1947.

Australian Army[edit]

The regular infantry battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment compete against each other for the Gloucester Cup in an annual military skills competition.[1] To compete for the Gloucester Cup, each infantry battalion sends a team to the Lone Pine Barracks at Singleton.[2] These teams participate in a five-day competition demonstrating their training and endurance, from which the winning battalion is determined.[2] First held in 1947 between the Australian battalions then in Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force, the inaugural cup was awarded to 67th Australian Infantry Battalion (now the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment). Between 1951 and 1971 the competition was not held due to operational commitments. Competition recommenced on a regular basis between 1972 and 1998; however, was again ceased as a result of operations in in East Timor. The competition recommenced in 2003.[3]

Royal Australian Navy[edit]

The RAN Gloucester Cup was initially assessed on the gunnery accuracy of RAN ships, based on the number of sleeve targets hit as a proportion of shells fired.[4] This was quickly found to be impractical, and the criteria for the award was changed to "overall proficiency", based on each ship's level of operational efficiency during a calendar year; husbandry and seamanship; supply and administration; officer and sailor training; divisional systems, morale and discipline; and equipment reliability, maintenance and resourcefulness.[4][5] As well as the silver trophy, a winning ship is allowed to paint a yellow star on the superstructure of the ship, which remains until the Cup is passed to a new winner.[4]

Winning ships[edit]

Royal Australian Air Force[edit]

The RAAF's Gloucester Cup recognises the most proficient flying squadron during a calendar year. The winner is announced at the Air Force Awards night, held in April or May annually.

The unit to have been recognised the greatest number of times is No. 38 Squadron, with 6 awards (1947, 1954, 1974, 1975, 1987 and 2003), followed by No. 1 Squadron and No. 36 Squadron with 5 awards each. In 1991, No. 2 Airfield Defence Squadron became the first non-flying unit awarded the Cup.

Winning squadrons[edit]


  1. ^ Horner & Bou 2008, p. 27.
  2. ^ a b Sheridan, Greg (11 November 2007). "Slain hero deserves the gratitude of the entire nation". The Australian. p. 14. 
  3. ^ "Chapter 10: Regimental Competitions". Royal Australian Regiment Standing Orders. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar "The Duke of Gloucester's Cup". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Jeffery, Michael (8 April 2008). Presentation of the 2007 Gloucester Cup to HMAS Rankin (Speech). HMAS Stirling, WA. Retrieved 26 May 2009. 
  6. ^ "Gloucester Cup Won By Frigate". The Canberra Times. 15 December 1948. Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  7. ^ "Honour for warship". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 August 1952. p. 3. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  8. ^ "H.M.A.S. Australia Wins Cup". The Sydney Morning Herald. 25 March 1954. p. 7. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  9. ^ a b "Fleet Awards to Destroyer". The Age. 19 May 1962. p. 3. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
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  11. ^ a b c Smith, Nigel (8 March 2007). "Tartan Terror Wins". Navy News. Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  12. ^ "Yo, ho, Hobart is Navy's top ship". The Age. 3 January 1976. p. 3. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  13. ^ Shaw, Lindsey (2005). HMAS Onslow: cold war warrior. Sydney, NSW: Australian National Maritime Museum. p. 6. ISBN 0-9751428-4-4. OCLC 225390609. 
  14. ^ "Vice Regal - Federal". The Age. 14 January 1982. p. 12. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  15. ^ a b Davidson, Jon; Allibone, Tom (2005). Beneath Southern Seas. Crawley, WA: University of Western Australia Press. p. 204. ISBN 1-920694-62-5. OCLC 69242056. 
  16. ^ a b Farynski, Jerzy. "Cup winners praised". Navy News. Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  17. ^ Doolan, Ken (2007). HMAS Tobruk: Warship for Every Crisis. Queanbeyan: Grinkle Press. pp. 89–101. ISBN 978-0-9802821-0-8. OCLC 225713122. [page needed]
  18. ^ Cassells, The Destroyers, p. 41
  19. ^ "Adelaide's pair of cups". Navy News. 22 February 1999. Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  20. ^ Delaney, Chris (18 March 2002). "Gloucester cup tops off Anzac's awards". Navy News. Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  21. ^ Gibbs, Stephen (4 April 2005). "For the Governor-General, a personal pain". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  22. ^ Paver, Chris (14 March 2009). "Hello sailor: the navy fleet's in town". The Australian. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  23. ^ "Navy crew set sail on top gongs". The Daily Telegraph. 7 April 2010. p. 20. 
  24. ^ "Collection of awards for Anzac". Navy News. 15 August 2013. p. 2. 
  25. ^ "HMAS Huon Presented Top Fleet Award by the Governor-General". Media release. Department of Defence. 30 April 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  26. ^ "Mr. McKell Presents Duke's Cup at Fairbairn". The Canberra Times. 27 September 1948. p. 2. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  27. ^ a b c "No. 9 Squadron RAAF awarded Duke of Gloucester Cup 1969-70". AWM Collection. 23 April 1971. Retrieved 2009-10-20. 
  28. ^ a b "Presentation of Gloucester Cup 1973". AWM Collection. 14 December 1973. Retrieved 2009-10-20. 
  29. ^ "BEST OF THE BEST: 2001 AIR FORCE AWARDS". Minister for Defence Media Release. 21 May 2002. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  30. ^ "Prize performances". Air Force News. 22 May 2003. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  31. ^ "Oh, what a night". Air Force News. 1 June 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  32. ^ "87th Night of Nights". Page 5, Air Force News. 17 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 


  • Cassells, Vic (2000). The Destroyers: their battles and their badges. East Roseville, NSW: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7318-0893-2. OCLC 46829686. 
  • Horner, David; Bou, Jean, eds. (2008). Duty First: A History of the Royal Australian Regiment (2nd ed.). Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-74175-374-5.