I am nominating this for featured article because it has passed both Good Article and MILHIST A-Class reviews and I now believe it meets the FA criteria. Vice Admiral Sir Alan McNicoll was a career officer in the Royal Australian Navy, serving in the Second World War, as a liaison officer to the British nuclear tests off Western Australia in 1952, and captaining several ships before his career culminated with his appointment as Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) in 1965. As CNS he presided over the RAN contribution to the Vietnam War, oversaw an extensive modernisation of the Australian fleet, and it was during his tenure that the Australian White Ensign was created. He later served as Australia's first ambassador to Turkey. I look forward to any and all feedback and comments. Many thanks for reviewing! Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 04:02, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
"In December 1942, HMS King George V deployed as a component of Convoy JW 51A; the first Russian convoy to sail direct from the United Kingdom without stopping at Iceland.": The part after the semicolon is a sentence fragment (although you do occasionally see this usage in BritEng). Substituting a comma is one fix.
"Captain (D)": a little jargony for my taste, and doesn't seem necessary, since you say he was put in command of a destroyer flotilla.
Captain (D) is an official appointment so I don't think it crosses the line of jargon. I had also added the detail in the sentence to explain that the position placed McNicoll in command of the 10th Destroyer Squadron. Abraham, B.S. (talk)
"which cited adultery as the cause": readers these days may not understand that it used to be impossible to get a divorce without giving a good reason, and adultery was not an uncommon reason ... I don't know whether that's the case here, but it's possible this isn't the most enlightening detail.
It may have been cited as a common cause of at fault divorce during the times (as was abandonment), but I think it still enlightens the reader as to the given reason for McNicoll's divorce and is useful in that respect. Abraham, B.S. (talk)
"of the Perth-class destroyers, initial batch of Oberon-class submarines, Attack-class patrol boats, and a re-equipment ...": See WP:Checklist#series.
It's non-parallel, that is, it doesn't make sense to put "of" (or "with") in front of each of those elements. - Dank (push to talk) 03:27, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough, I understand that. In this case, though, the reason for these qualifiers is that McNicoll only saw the introduction of the first two Oberon-class submarines (the rest were to come into service during the tenure of his successor), and to state that the Fleet Air Arm was re-equipped with some American aircraft (the whole fleet wasn't, but they received two new types of planes). Abraham, B.S. (talk)
I don't follow; it's never necessary to say something ungrammatical. If your sentence were "Sally went to the store to buy bread, milk, and put petrol in the car", that's nonparallel because it implies she "went to buy put petrol in the car". A series needs to make sense when you write it out with each element separately. - Dank (push to talk) 12:12, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I misunderstood what you meant. I have since split the sentence into two. How does it look now? Abraham, B.S. (talk)
"McNicoll was survived by his wife and children from his first marriage." This could mean "by his wife, and by the children from his first marriage", or by his wife from his first marriage. - Dank (push to talk) 20:09, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
I was uncomfortable with this sentence and unsure what to tweak it to. Have now introduced your first suggestion. Many thanks for your review, Dank. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 02:31, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your support, mate. :) Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 06:27, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
Source review - spotchecks not done
FN9: publisher and work seem backwards
Be consistent in whether newspapers are italicized
Be consistent in what is wikilinked when
Be consistent in how volume is notated. Nikkimaria (talk) 16:10, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
All done. Thanks for spotting those. :) Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 02:33, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Support -- I reviewed and copyedited at GAN, and subsequently at MilHist ACR. I thought it was FA-worthy from the beginning and, having reviewed changes since I last viewed it I see no reason to change that opinion. The only very minor niggles I have are:
As I mentioned when I reviewed at ACR, I find the expression "from whence" a trifle old-fashioned and quaint
I think flags in infoboxes might be on their way out although, while I've ceased using them, I'm not on a crusade to eradicate them from others' articles. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 08:45, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks very much for the review and support, Ian. :) I tweaked the above (I didn't mind the use of "whence", but will admit it did seem rather old-fashioned and a little out of date). As for the flags, I'm not overly fussed either way. They were added in more for consistency when I started the article in my infobox three years ago, and the fact that they are generated though templates I used. I have left them in for now, just to see what others say. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 09:07, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
"Advanced to captain in 1949"—would "Promoted ..." be more usual and grammatically clearer?
More usual, yes, but "advanced" conveys the point just as well I believe and means "promoted" is not repeated thrice in the lead. Abraham, B.S. (talk) 14:28, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
"and was appointed commanding officer of HMAS Australia. He commanded Australia for two years before it was sold off for scrap"—Command × 2, but there may be no way to avoid the close rep. Second sentence: I wish, but this pissling little country will be here tomorrow, I guess. Perhaps "commanded the ship"?
I've left the second mention of "command" in as I also am not sure how to avoid it (although perhaps "presided over the ship" in the second instance would work?), but tweaked the latter per your suggestion. Abraham, B.S. (talk) 14:28, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
"In January 1950, McNicoll transferred to command the destroyer HMAS Warramunga and was subsequently made Captain (D) in command of the 10th Destroyer Squadron." (sorry, I'm copying from display mode, so italics not reproduced; and it's my underlining) ... can you think about the grammar and lexis of appointment, promotion, taking charge of, etc? It needs to be conveyed in a number of places, of course, but there are reps. Can you say "Caption (D) of the 10th ..."? Unsure. "Transferred" here strongly makes him the agent, whereas elsewhere he's the complement. You can vary it, but can you check it's all the way you want?
Tweaked to "control" in the second mention. Does that work? Abraham, B.S. (talk) 14:28, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
"sailing to New Zealand for a visit during March 1950"—do you need the "for a visit"?
Perhaps not the most necessary addition, but it quells any ambiguities and perhaps stops people asking "what for?". Abraham, B.S. (talk) 14:28, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
"Warramunga was selected as part of the Australian contribution to the conflict"—sounds like a music eisteddfod or research application. Can it be simpler? // The rest of that para tries to convey a sequence of events and processes; I had to concentrate hard. Maybe it's ok.
I've tweaked the paragraph a little. What do you think now? Abraham, B.S. (talk) 14:28, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
"The year of 1954 was to be HMAS Australia's last in service, and the ship carried out Royal and Vice Regal tasks as some of its final duties."—First, is this a new-para opportunity (it's on the long side)? Second, the opening three words are pretty clunky, inserted I suppose to comply with the no-numerals-at-sentence-opening rule (a rule I don't really like much but have to accept). Don't like the "and" as a logical link between the clauses. Perhaps have a look at this sentence? Rejig, re-order, reword?
That is the precise reason the three words are there. Haha. I split the paragraph and tweaked a little. Abraham, B.S. (talk) 14:28, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
The conjunctive adjunct could be thematic rather than medial here, perhaps, given the windiness of the sentence? "This post proved short lived, however, with his posting from June that year as Flag Officer-in-Charge East Australia Area, headquartered at the land base HMAS Kuttabul in Sydney." -> "However, this post ....".
I stopped at Rise to Chief of Naval Staff. Looks OK, but needs a little work still on the prose. Tony(talk) 08:57, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Many thanks for the review, Tony. :) Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 14:28, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Comments from Crisco 1492
Some addressed comments from Crisco 1492 moved to talk
I have bad news for you: the URAA means that Australian images taken in 1946 or later are not PD in the US. This causes problems for some of your images.
File:Alan McNicoll.JPG can you narrow down the date a bit more specifically? This is likely PD in both the US and Aus, but a more specific date would be nice (what happens if this is 1946 and thus not PD in the US? It's deleted).
File:McNicoll atomic tests 1952.jpg - This is the one with the most problems. As a 1952 picture, it is likely not public domain in the US. However, if you can show that the Memorial's PD claim applies worldwide, the image can be kept. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 08:04, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
The issue of post-1945 Australian government held images (particularly those from the Australian War Memorial) has been raised quite a bit over the last couple of years. Until recently, I was in a semi-retired state for the last two years or so and haven't kept much abreast of the debates, which is why I have pinged Ian on this as someone more knowledgeable in this area than I. Basically, all Australian photographs taken prior to 1 January 1955 are in the public domain, as are all Australian Government photographs older than 50 years. The above two photographs fall into both of these categories. Due to requests from Wikipedia editors, the Australian War Memorial now displays these two notices on their public domain images: . As the notices show, these images are "identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights". Abraham, B.S. (talk) 05:20, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
Hmm... Ian, do you think this could be considered as the source releasing the images as public domain (as opposed to inherently being public domain, which would have been hit by the URAA)? — Crisco 1492 (talk) 05:51, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
User:Nick-D would have some knowledge as well, but I think that we've considered post-1946 AWM images as released into the public domain. Ed[talk][majestic titan] 06:00, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
(ec) Yes, this seems to be the way of it -- it's been tested many a time. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 06:49, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
In which case, there are still possible issues with File:Alan McNicoll.JPG as the source does not explicitly license it as CC-zero, nor are we sure what year it was taken) — Crisco 1492 (talk) 06:48, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
Hmm, not sure how they figure that. Correct me if I'm wrong, Brice, but he was promoted captain in 1949, which means that this image of him as a commander must've been taken before then, making it PD in Australia at the very least. I realise 1949 doesn't help us as far as PD-1996 goes, but then the WP file suggests c. 1943-45, so what was the evidence narrowing it down to that again? Something about the decorations he's wearing? Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 07:44, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
I'd say it is an oversight of the Library not having reviewed the image files in this set in some years (the Library claims the wedding photo of McNicoll's parents taken in 1905 to be copyright if you click on "Order" as Crisco did above). The Australian War Memorial, before the push above, also claimed copyright on several images that were obviously public domain. Honestly, there is pretty much no possible way this image is not in the Australian public domain. The rank (commander) and ribbons (George Medal and Atlantic Medal, I believe) worn in the photograph indicate that it would have been taken no earlier than 1943 and quite possibly no later than (very) late 1945. If the photo was taken later than that time he would have been wearing further awards for service during the Second World War. I think this photo was probably taken after McNicoll's return to Australia and posting to staff duties in late 1944, though that is purely speculative, of course. Abraham, B.S. (talk) 08:30, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
When did the WWII medals and ribbons get handed out? If this is even 1 January 1946 it's not PD in the US. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 08:36, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
Honestly, depends what medal it was (a number of certain types were handed out during the war, while others were dispatched following it). However, the ribbons seem to have come quicker than the medals themselves (particularly for personnel still serving), and were awarded from late 1945. While I'm not sure he would have received all of his medals or ribbons before the year was out, he would definitely have been wearing more than what is in the image if it were taken in 1946 or later. Abraham, B.S. (talk) 08:47, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm rather worried that this goes against OR and the precautionary principle (not that I'm doubting you, just that this is so close to the cut off date). Perhaps GermanJoe could weigh in, or you could find/crop a more definitely free file? — Crisco 1492 (talk) 08:51, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
I appreciate the efforts Crisco, but the alternate lead images are not even remotely as good. There is no doubt the current image is PD in Australia, and I'd be highly surprised if it is copyright in the US still. However, if it will alleviate your concerns, I will switch out the current licensing for a FUR. Is that fine by you? Abraham, B.S. (talk) 09:18, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't think that a FUR would pass muster in this instance, as there are clearly free images of him available, albeit not as good (although a FUR of an image of him as an older man may have more of a chance of being accepted). Hence why I pinged GermanJoe, who is quite well versed in image copyrights as well and will likely be able to provide a third opinion. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 09:30, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
I did consider that (although I think a decent argument for the image under FUR could be mounted), which is why if it does come to that I will go for an FUR on this image as it is the only available portrait photograph I am aware of that shows McNicoll in formal uniform as a flag officer (he is ranked rear admiral in the photograph). Abraham, B.S. (talk) 12:16, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
I think that image would be very good, especially as it shows the contrast between him as a youth and him in his older age. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 12:50, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
I waited off doing anything with the image in the event of comments by GermanJoe. However, would it be easier if I just went ahead and uploaded the above under a FUR now? Abraham, B.S. (talk) 02:14, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
GJ has not edited in a couple of days, so I'd give him/her a bit of time. The current state of the images does not affect my support below. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 04:46, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough. I just figured I may attempt to keep things going since the FAC has been open for quite some time. Abraham, B.S. (talk) 03:49, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Support on prose and most images. Very well done, very nice indeed. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 04:46, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Thank you very much for all of your dedicated efforts in reviewing the article, Crisco. I greatly appreciate it. :) Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 03:49, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Comments This is a very high quality article, and I have only the following comments:
"McNicoll was posted to HMS Victory" - do we know what he did in this role? I think that Victory was a museum ship (and ceremonial flagship) at this time, though I think that there was a radio room on the ship (and still is, from memory). However, are you sure that this wasn't a 'holding' type assignment? (or an assignment to the admiral's staff in a building?)
Victory served as the ceremonial flagship of the Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth during this period. It probably was a holding attachment, but nothing specific is given in the source unfortunately. Abraham, B.S. (talk) 12:16, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
OK, fair enough Nick-D (talk) 10:57, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
"King George V took part in several Arctic convoys throughout the conflict." - KGV and the other battleships didn't sail with the convoys, but provided "distant support" by sortieing into the Arctic Sea during the first stage of the convoys journey to the USSR. I'd suggest replacing "took part" with "supported" or similar.
"From April to May 1942, King George V formed up as a component of Convoy PQ 15" - as above. The Home Fleet operated as an entirely separate force from the convoys, and on many occasions never came within sight of the convoy.
Admitedly, I'm not the most knowledgeable about British naval operations of the Second World War, so it's good to hear from someone who is! I have tweaked the above. Abraham, B.S. (talk) 12:16, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
The coverage of the collision with Punjabi seems overly detailed given that McNicoll isn't identified as having any particular experiences arising from it.
I was concerned about this, but details on McNicoll's posting to King George V are rather light and I thought the incident was rather notable plus provided background information. Abraham, B.S. (talk) 12:16, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
When I read this material I kept waiting for a link to McNicoll to turn up, but nothing ever did. I'd strongly suggest trimming it back given that it's not really hugely relevant to the subject of the article. Nick-D (talk) 10:57, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough. I have tweaked the paragraph and removed some unnecessary detail. How does it look now? Abraham, B.S. (talk) 02:14, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I've just chopped out another couple of sentences to focus the material more tightly: please revert me if you don't think that this is an improvement though. Nick-D (talk) 08:20, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
"HMS King George V deployed as a component of Convoy JW 51A" - as above