Somers

It is a sad thing that the area now known as Somers did not have a name until 1929, and sadder still that the reason for it is now largely forgotten. Before 1929, the area, sandwiched between Balnarring and HMAS Cerberus, was mostly just seen as the backyard of the naval base (and indeed, portions of it were reserved for the use of the navy).

But in 1919, after reviewing their performance in the Great War, the officers at the head of the navy decided that what Australia really needed was an equivalent to the Marines: soldiers trained to fight at sea or on land, rather than one or the other. And the land adjacent to the base at Cerberus was perfect, being unoccupied, coastal, and reminiscent of both the peninsulas of Turkey and the fields of France.

It was the latter that gave the area its name, although not until a decade had been wasted attempting to create an Australian Marine Corps. It was then that this area, nicknamed Somme South by the men who trained on it, got another nickname, one which would last: Somme Errors, which was quickly abbreviated into the more familiar Somers (both because many of the former trainees bought beach houses cheaply when the navy sold the land – in which they planned to summer each year – and also because Australians cannot hear the same syllable twice in a row without feeling that at least one of them is surplus to requirements).

Suburbs near Somers:

Balnarring Bittern HMAS Cerberus HMAS Cerberus
Balnarring Somers HMAS Cerberus HMAS Cerberus
Balnarring Beach Somers Somers HMAS Cerberus
Western Port Bay Western Port Bay Western Port Bay Western Port Bay