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Allied Merchant Mariners

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What is an allied mariner?

An allied mariner is a person who:

  • was during the period of World War 2:
  1. a master, officer or seaman employed under agreement, or an apprentice employed under indenture:
  • in sea-going service on a [glossary:ship:] that was engaged in trading; or
  • employed in a lighthouse tender or pilot ship; or
  • employed in sea-going service on a ship operated by, or on behalf of, a foreign country; or

(b)              employed as a pilot; and

  • was at any time during the course of that employment on a ship that was:
  •    operating from a port in Australia or a Commonwealth or Allied country; or
  •    engaged in trading with Australia or a Commonwealth or Allied country; or
  •    engaged in providing assistance or support to the Defence Force, or to the forces, or any part of the forces, of a Commonwealth or Allied country; or
  •    engaged in providing assistance or support to Australia or a Commonwealth or Allied country.
Automatic disqualification

Mariners who were employed on ships operated by the enemy or engaged in trading with the enemy are excluded from the definition of an allied mariner and are therefore not entitled to benefits under the VEA.     

Detention by the enemy

An allied mariner detained by the enemy, will have rendered qualifying service.     

Danger from hostile forces

An allied mariner has rendered qualifying service if they served in an area that would have entitled them to the award of a campaign medal if they had been a member of a Defence Force and incurred danger from hostile forces of the enemy.     

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A master in the context of merchant mariners is a person other than the pilot having command or charge of a merchant ship assisting with the war effort.

An officer in the context of merchant mariners is a master, mate or engineer on a merchant ship assisting with the war effort.

A seaman in the context of merchant mariners is a person employed or engaged in any capacity except masters, pilots, officers and apprentices on a merchant vessel assisting with the war effort.

An apprentice in the context of merchant mariners is a young person indentured to a shipping company for sea service on a merchant ship with a view to becoming a ship's officer.

A Commonwealth country is a country, other than Australia that is, or was at the relevant time, a part of the Dominions of the Crown.

An allied country is a country, other than Australia or a Commonwealth country, whose forces were engaged in an operational area against an enemy, at the relevant time, which was also engaged against forces of the Commonwealth.

Engaged in providing assistance or support means supplying food, munitions or clothing, or transporting personnel or coal, oil etc.

“enemy means

  • in relation to World War I or World War II - the naval, military or air forces, or any part of the naval, military or airforces, of a State at war with the Crown during that war; and
  • in relation to service in, or a period of hostilities in respect of, an operational area - the naval, military or air forces against which the Naval, Military or Air Forces of the Commonwealth were engaged in that operational area; and
  • persons assisting any of those forces.”