GARSIA, Rupert Clare

  1. Service Details
  2. Personal Details
  3. Unit and Rank Details
  4. Notes
  5. Sources

Service Details

Branch of Service
World War II (1939-1945)
Date of Enlistment
Date of Discharge
Place of Enlistment
Sydney NSW

Personal Details

Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Christchurch, New Zealand
Address (at enlistment)
Monaro Crescent, Red Hill ACT
Naval officer
Next of Kin
Dorothea Garsia (wife), Monaro Crescent, Red Hill ACT

Unit and Rank Details

Final Rank
Final Unit
HMAS Leeuwin


Garsia served with the Royal Navy from 1904 to 1914 when he joined the Royal Australian Navy on the outbreak of the First World War. He served on HMAS Australia and then HMAS Sydney including its action in the Indian Ocean when she sank the German light cruiser Emden near the Cocos Islands in November 1914. He served on HMAS Sydney until the end of the war and then on a number of ships until 1929 when he was appointed as aide-de-camp to the Governor General, Lord Stonehaven. Garsia continued on as ADC when Sir Isaac Isaacs took up his appointment as Governor General in 1931. By then Yarralumla had become the official residence for the Governor General.

In 1932 Garsia ceased duty with the navy when he was appointed as administrator of Nauru, a role he filled until October 1938. He married in 1934 and after leaving Nauru, Garsia and his wife settled in Canberra in 1939. That year he joined the school council of Canberra Grammar and remained with it until his death in 1954.

Garsia was still a naval reserve officer and when World War 2 began he applied for an appointment. His first appointment was as commodore in charge of convoys and he was in charge of the last merchant convoy to get to Singapore before it fell to the Japanese. For the last half of the war, Garsia commanded HMAS Leeuwin naval base in Western Australia until his discharge in September 1945. The following January 1946 he was promoted to the rank of Captain.

Garsia remained involved with Canberra Grammar and with ex-service organisations, principally those supporting former members of the navy. He died of a cerebral haemorrhage in Canberra on 18 February 1954 and was cremated at Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney. Garsia Street in Campbell was named after him in 1963.


NAA RecordSearch - Series A6769 (Service Cards for Navy Officers, 1911-1970)
Robert Hyslop, 'Garsia, Rupert Clare (1887-1954)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1981, accessed online 27 April 2016
WWII Nominal Roll
ACT Electoral Rolls 1916 to 1967
ACT Environment & Planning -
AWM Collections Record : 133699, 133703, EN0174,
The Canberra Times - 15 December 1932, 20 February 1954
Information provided by Pamela Hunt, Archivist, Canberra Grammar School

Create Certificate
Rupert Garsia in Canberra, 1948. AWM image 133699.

Rupert Garsia in Canberra, 1948. AWM image 133699.

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