• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE0389

Curtis-Otter, Margaret Catherine

(1910 – 1992) First Officer Margaret Curtis-Otter
  • Born 14 September, 1910, Strathfield Victoria Australia
  • Died 25 August, 1992
  • Occupation Servicewoman


Journalist Margaret Curtis-Otter, whose husband (Donald) was serving with the navy, enlisted in the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) on 18 January 1943 and became second in charge of this service. She was one of the first 16 officers and became an adviser to the Naval Board after the war, as well as Acting Director WRANS, while Sheila McClemans attended the Victory Parade in London in 1946. Margaret Curtis-Otter worked with Naval Control, assisting with the assembling of convoys and arranging for the departure of merchant ships. Later she became one of the founders of the Naval Information Service, when she joined the Naval Office. In 1975 the Naval Historical Society published W.R.A.N.S. : the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service written by Margaret-Curtis Otter. On 2 January 1956 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her services as Commissioner of the Girl Guides Association.

Published resources

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection
    • Margaret Curtis-Otter interviewed by Hazel de Berg in the Hazel de Berg collection [sound recording]
  • Australian War Memorial, Research Centre
    • [Department of Information - Broadcasting Division:] Talks by Margaret Curtis-Otter (Jan 1942) [transcripts]
    • Members of the first WRANS Officer Training Corps.
    • Portrait of First Officer Margaret Curtis-Otter, Director of the WRANS until demobilised in 1945
    • Margaret Curtis-Otter, Acting First Officer, Women's Royal Australian Naval Service, interviewed by Dr Ruth Thompson for The Keith Murdoch Sound Archive of Australia in the War of 1939-45
    • Curtis-Otter, Margaret (First Officer, Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS))
  • National Archives of Australia, National Office, Canberra
    • Department of Information Mrs. Curtis-Otter. Correspondence. Flat 12A, 594 St. Kilda Rd., Melbourne SC 4.

Digital resources

Related entries

  • Related Organisations
    • Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) (1941 - 1984)
  • Commissioner
    • Girl Guides Australia (1926 - )