John Gregory Crace

Vice Admiral Sir John Gregory Crace KBE, CB (6 February 1887 – 11 May 1968), also known as Jack Crace, was an Australian who came to prominence as an officer of the Royal Navy (RN). He commanded the Australian-United States Support Force, Task Force 44, at the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942.

Sir John Gregory Crace
John Gregory Crace
Rear Admiral John Crace c.1940
Born6 February 1887
Gungahlin, Australia
Died11 May 1968 (aged 81)
Hampshire, England
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Navy
Years of service1902–1946
RankVice Admiral
Commands heldChatham Dockyard (1942–46)
Task Force 44 (1942)
HM Australian Fleet (1939–42)
HMS Emerald (1934–37)
HMS Osprey (1924–25, 1930–32)
HMS Valhalla (1929–30)
Battles/warsFirst World War
Second World War
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath

Early life

Crace was born to Kate Marion Crace and Edward Kendall Crace at Gungahlin, New South Wales (now part of the Australian Capital Territory). He was educated at The Kings School in Parramatta, before completing school in the UK in October 1899.

Naval career

Crace then enlisted in the RN. His first posting was with the training ship HMS Britannia, in May 1902. After being trained as a torpedo officer, Crace served on the battlecruiser HMAS Australia throughout the First World War.

He travelled back and forth to Australia during the interwar years, and served in a series of sea and shore positions before being assigned command of the Australian Squadron in September 1939. Upon his arrival in Sydney, Crace grew increasingly dismayed at the state of the RAN fleet and attempted to resign.[1] However, after war with Japan broke out, Crace was appointed commander of the Allied Naval Squadron, ANZAC Force.

During the Battle of the Coral Sea, Crace narrowly escaped a Japanese air raid while patrolling south of New Guinea. He returned to Britain in June 1942 as a vice admiral, commanding the Chatham Dockyard. Crace was placed on the retired list in 1945, but remained in command at Chatham until July 1946.

He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1947. He had been appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1941.

Sir John Crace died in Hampshire, England in 1968. The suburb of Crace, Australian Capital Territory is named after Crace's father, Edward Kendall Crace.



  1. ^ Action Stations Coral Sea, p.36


  • Coulthard-Clark, Chris, Action Stations Coral Sea, Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1991.
  • Parrish, Thomas and S. L. A. Marshall, ed. The Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of World War II, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978.
  • Keegan, John, ed. The Rand McNally Encyclopedia of World War II. New York: Rand McNally & Company, 1977.

Further reading

  • Tucker, Spencer C., ed. Who's Who in Twentieth-Century Warfare. London: Routledge (UK), 2001. ISBN 0-415-23497-2
  • Gillison, Douglas (1962). "Chapter 26 – Coral Sea and Midway". Volume I – Royal Australian Air Force, 1939–1942. Australia in the War of 1939–1945, Series 3: Air. Canberra: Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 13 April 2009.

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Commodore Wilfrid Patterson
Rear Admiral Commanding HM Australian Squadron
Succeeded by
Rear Admiral Victor Crutchley
ANZAC Squadron

The ANZAC Squadron, also called the Allied Naval Squadron, was an Allied naval warship task force which was tasked with defending northeast Australia and surrounding area in early 1942 during the Pacific Campaign of World War II. The squadron, consisting of cruisers and destroyers from the navies of Australia, New Zealand, and the United States was formed on February 12, 1942, under the command of Royal Navy Rear Admiral John Gregory Crace. The squadron was the primary fleet element operating in the ANZAC Area under the overall command of United States Navy Vice Admiral Herbert Fairfax Leary.

On 9 March, the squadron, as part of Task Force 11 known as Task Group 11.7, covered the Louisiade Archipelago, securing the right hand flank of Task Force 11 and Task Force 17 for the attack on Lae and Salamaua due to the Imperial Japanese invasion of Lae-Salamaua, New Guinea and also covering a Port Moresby reinforcement convoy. On April 22, 1942, the ANZAC Force was absorbed by the South West Pacific Area (command) under United States Army General Douglas MacArthur and the ANZAC Squadron was redesignated as Task Force 44. The New Zealand cruisers passed to the control of the South Pacific Area.

Armoire (Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin)

This armoire, displayed at the Great Exhibition of 1851, was designed by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812–52) and made by frequent collaborator John Gregory Crace (1809–89). The shields along the top and the carved decorative motifs were drawn from medieval sources. The motifs include Crace's initials, a plummet (carpenter's tool) as an emblem of his honesty, and a compass to indicate his ability to keep within his estimates. Many designers of the Victorian period were inspired by the art of the Middle Ages, but Pugin was probably the greatest and most ardent exponent of the Gothic Revival style.

The cabinet was the grandest piece in the group of furniture designed by Pugin and made by Crace for the Medieval Court in the Great Exhibition of 1851. As Crace was a judge for Class XXVI (furniture) and the cabinet was exhibited in his name, it was not eligible for a medal.

A prolific designer, best remembered for his decoration of the Houses of Parliament, Pugin exhausted himself and died the year after this cupboard was made, aged only forty. The Victoria and Albert Museum bought the cupboard directly from the 1851 Exhibition, making it one of its earliest acquisitions.

Art Treasures Exhibition, Manchester 1857

The Art Treasures of Great Britain was an exhibition of fine art held in Manchester, England, from 5 May to 17 October 1857. It remains the largest art exhibition to be held in the UK, possibly in the world, with over 16,000 works on display. It attracted over 1.3 million visitors in the 142 days it was open, about four times the population of Manchester at that time, many of whom visited on organised railway excursions. Its selection and display of artworks had a formative influence on the public art collections that were then being established in the UK, such as the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Australians in the United Kingdom

Australians in the United Kingdom include Australians who have become residents or citizens of the United Kingdom. The largest segment of Australia's diaspora of 1 million resides in the United Kingdom.The 2001 UK Census recorded 107,871 Australian-born people. In that census, the highest concentration of Australians in the UK was recorded in south-west London, with sizeable communities in Earl's Court, Kensington, Hammersmith, Fulham, Shepherds Bush and Putney. In 2007, Bloomberg reported that there were approximately 200,000 Australians in London. In 2008, The Times reported that there were 400,000 Australians in the United Kingdom. The 2011 UK Census recorded 113,592 residents born in Australia in England, 2,695 in Wales, 8,279 in Scotland, and 1,750 in Northern Ireland. Within England, the majority were resident in London (53,959) and the South East (20,242). The Office for National Statistics estimates that 138,000 people born in Australia were resident in the UK in 2017.The late-2000s recession was reported to have resulted in an increased number of Australians moving from the UK. 2,700 Australians left each month in late 2008, compared to 1,750 a month in 2005.

Battle of the Coral Sea order of battle

This is an order of battle for the Battle of the Coral Sea. The battle, fought during 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval and air forces from the United States (U.S.) and Australia.

In an attempt to strengthen their defensive positioning for their empire in the South Pacific, Imperial Japanese forces decided to invade and occupy Port Moresby in New Guinea and Tulagi in the southeastern Solomon Islands. The plan to accomplish this, called Operation MO, involved several major units of Japan's Combined Fleet, including two fleet carriers and a light carrier to provide air cover for the invasion fleets, under the overall command of Shigeyoshi Inoue. The U.S. learned of the Japanese plan through signals intelligence and sent two United States Navy carrier task forces and a joint Australian-American cruiser force, under the overall command of Frank Jack Fletcher, to oppose the Japanese offensive.

Cheetham Hill Road

Cheetham Hill Road is a road in north Manchester, England, running from Corporation Street in Manchester city centre to Prestwich. In Crumpsall 53°30′44″N 2°14′38″W, its name changes to Bury Old Road. It is lined with churches, mosques, synagogues and temples, as well as terraced houses.

Edward Kendall Crace

Edward Kendall Crace (1844–1892) was an Australian pastoralist who owned extensive land holdings around Canberra.

Crace was the son of the English interior designer John Gregory Crace (1809-1889) and his wife, Sarah Jane Hine Langley.

Crace owned the properties of Ginninderra and Gungahlin and added Charnwood to his holdings in 1880. He arrived in Australia in 1865 on the Duncan Dunbar after being shipwrecked. In 1871 he married Kate Marion who had also been on the Duncan Dunbar and they had six daughters and two sons. One son, Everard Crace founded a farmers union to promote more scientific farming methods, and his other son, also named John Gregory Crace became a commander in the Royal Australian Navy. Edward Crace and his coachman died when trying to cross a flooded Ginninderra Creek in 1892.

The suburb of Crace is named after him, as is Crace Street in Weetangera.

Fife House

Fife House, No 1, Lewes Crescent, is a Grade I listed building in Kemp Town, Brighton, United Kingdom, which was previously owned by the Duke of Devonshire and the Duke of Fife.

Frederick Crace

Frederick Crace (1779–1859) was an English interior decorator, who worked for George IV when Prince of Wales, for whom he created the chinoiserie interiors of the Brighton Pavilion. Crace was also a collector of maps and topographical prints, now at the British Library.

Frederick was the son of the prominent London decorator John C. Crace (1754–1819), who had been hired in 1788 to provide Chinese works of art for the Royal Pavilion.

Beside his familiar interiors at the Marine Pavilion, Brighton, Crace provided interiors at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, in which he was assisted by his son, John Gregory Crace.

Frederick married Augusta Harrop Gregory, the daughter of John Gregory, a London magistrate and treasurer of the Whig Club. In 1830 his son John Gregory became a full partner in the family business, thereafter known as Frederick Crace & Son, in 1830, on inheriting property and capital from his mother, who had died in 1827. Crace & Son designed the St James's Theatre, London (1835) and the younger Crace developed into a well-regarded designer of theatres on his own.

For Crace's collection of topographical prints and drawings, Thomas H. Shepherd was employed to paint old London buildings prior to their demolition, to provide a historical record.

He died at his home in Hammersmith on 18 September 1859, aged 80, and was buried at West Norwood Cemetery. His extensive collection was purchased for the British Museum in 1880.

Frederick Smallfield

Frederick Smallfield (16 October 1829 – 10 September 1915) was a Victorian English oil and watercolour artist, whose work shows a Pre-Raphaelite influence.Smallfield trained at the Royal Academy Schools in the late 1840s, at the same time as various members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, although he seems not to have been closely associated with them.In 1858, Smallfield's watercolours were praised in Academy Notes by John Ruskin. In 1860, he was elected Associate of the Watercolour Society (ARWS). He contributed two illustrations, The Shoeblack and A Christmas Invitation, to Passages From Modern English Poets (1862), one called A Father's Lament to Robert Aris Willmott's English Sacred Poetry of the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Centuries (1863) and another to The Industrial Arts of the Nineteenth Century at the Great Exhibition MDCCCLI by Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt, published by Day & Son, London, 1851–1853.He exhibited works in oil at the Royal Academy until the late 1870s.His work is now in the collections of the Royal Institution of Cornwall (The Ringers of Launcells Tower, 1887), Manchester City Galleries (Early Lovers, 1857), and the Atkinson Art Gallery at Southport (The Lost Glove, 1858). Some of his drawings are in the Victoria and Albert Museum, including a sketch of a wall decoration by John Gregory Crace.

HMAS Goulburn

HMAS Goulburn (J167/B243/A117), named for the city of Goulburn, New South Wales, was one of 60 Bathurst-class corvettes constructed during World War II, and one of 36 initially manned and commissioned solely by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

HMAS Hobart (D63)

HMAS Hobart was a modified Leander-class light cruiser which served in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) during World War II. Originally constructed for the Royal Navy as HMS Apollo, the ship entered service in 1936, and was sold to Australia two years later. During the war, Hobart was involved in the evacuation of British Somaliland in 1940, fought at the Battle of the Coral Sea and supported the amphibious landings at Guadalcanal and Tulagi in 1942. She was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1943, then returned to service in 1945 and supported the landings at Tarakan, Wewak, Brunei, and Balikpapan. Hobart was placed in reserve in 1947, but plans to modernise her and return her to service as an aircraft carrier escort, training ship, or guided missile ship were not followed through. The cruiser was sold for scrapping in 1962.

John Crace

John Crace may refer to:

John Dibblee Crace (1838–1919), British interior designer

John Gregory Crace (designer) (1809–1889), British interior designer

Sir John Gregory Crace (1887–1968), British rear admiral

John Crace (writer), British journalist and critic

John Dibblee Crace

John Dibblee Crace (1838 – 18 November 1919) was a distinguished British interior designer who provided decorative schemes for the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Royal Academy, Tyntesfield and Longleat among many other notable buildings.

John Gregory Crace (designer)

John Gregory Crace (26 May 1809 – 13 August 1889) was an English interior decorator and author.

Task Force 44

Task Force 44 was an Allied naval task force during the Pacific Campaign of World War II. The task force consisted of warships from, mostly, the United States Navy and a few from the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). It was generally assigned as a striking force to defend northeast Australia and the surrounding area from any attacks by Axis forces, particularly from the Empire of Japan.

Wilfrid Patterson

Admiral Sir Wilfrid Rupert Patterson (20 November 1893 – 15 December 1954) was a senior officer in the Royal Navy. He was the Commodore Commanding His Majesty's Australian Squadron from September to November 1939. He participated in the naval battle that sunk the German battleship Bismarck.

Worshipful Company of Mercers

The Worshipful Company of Mercers is the premier Livery Company of the City of London and ranks first in the order of precedence of the Companies. It is the first of the Great Twelve City Livery Companies. Although of even older origin, the Company was incorporated under a Royal Charter in 1394, the Company's earliest extant Charter. The Company's aim was to act as a trade association for general merchants, and especially for exporters of wool and importers of velvet, silk and other luxurious fabrics (mercers). By the 16th century many members of the Company had lost any connection with the original trade. Today, the Company exists primarily as a charitable institution, supporting a variety of causes. The Company's motto is Honor Deo, Latin for "Honour to God".

Rear Admiral Commanding HM Australian Fleet
Rear Admiral Commanding HM Australian Squadron
Flag Officer Commanding HM Australian Fleet
Maritime Commander Australia
Commander Australian Fleet


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.