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Medallion depicting HMAS PROTECTOR, HMAS MILDURA and HMAS SYDNEY celebrating 100 years of service of Australian defence

Date: 2000
Overall: 100 x 210 mm, 0.06 kg
Medium: Paper, cupro-nickel
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Coins and medals
Object Name: Medallion
Object No: 00040047
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    This commemorative medallion was struck to mark the 100th anniversary of the departure of HMCS PROTECTOR for the Boxer Rebellion and to celebrate 100 years of service by Naval Brigades and Naval Reserve Forces in the defence of Australia. It features broadside views of HMCS PROTECTOR, HMAS MILDURA and HMAS SYDNEY (III). The obverse bears the crest of the Naval Reserve.
    SignificanceThis medallion was struck to honour 100 years of reservist service in the colonial navies and the Royal Australian Navy.
    HistoryThe gunboat HMCS PROTECTOR was built in 1883 for the South Australian Naval Brigade for naval patrols and exercises. In 1900 it was sent to China as part of Australia's contribution to the quelling of the Boxer uprising. In 1911 it joined the newly formed Royal Australian Navy as tender to HMAS CERBERUS and then depot ship to the submarines AE1 and AE2. In World War I it was port guard ship at Rabaul and then spent two months in the Indian Ocean reporting on the wreck of the German ship SMS EMDEN (defeated by HMAS SYDNEY (I) in 1914). In 1921 PROTECTOR was renamed CERBERUS, tender to the new naval depot (FLINDERS). 1924 saw the ship paid off for disposal; it was resold in 1931 for use as a wool lighter; and in 1943 it ended up as a breakwater on Heron Reef, Queensland.

    The minesweeper (corvette) HMAS MILDURA was commissioned in 1941 undertaking escort duties and anti-submarine patrols in Australian and South Pacific waters. 1945 saw MILDURA completing minesweeping operations in Chinese waters; 1946-47 in Australian, New Guinea and Solomon Island waters. MILDURA was paid off in 1948; recommissioned in 1951 as a training ship in Western Australian waters until finally being paid off in 1953 and towed to Brisbane as an immobilised training ship until sold for scrap in 1965.

    The third HMAS SYDNEY was the RAN's first aircraft carrier, commissioned in 1949 with 805 Squadron (Sea Furies) and 816 Squadron (Fairey Fireflies).

    In 1951 SYDNEY was ordered to Korea to relieve HMS Glory and carried out assignments including air searches for downed pilots, attacks against enemy lines of supply and communication and troop concentrations. During the 64 days in the war zone, 2,336 sorties were flown, while used ammunition included 269,000 rounds of 20-mm, 6,300 rocket projectiles and 902 bombs.

    In March 1953, SYDNEY left for England for the Queen's Coronation, returning via the United States, Pearl Harbor and New Zealand. SYDNEY paid off to special reserve in 1958 but was recommissioned in 1962 after a limited conversion to a fast troop transport and successfully completed 23 voyages to the war zone in Vietnam, with the nickname of Vung Tau Ferry. SYDNEY was again placed in reserve in 1973, and left Australia in 1975 for scrapping in Japan.

    On Reserve Forces Day 2000 three significant events were celebrated: 200 years since part-time soldiering commenced in Australia; 100 years since part-time members of Naval Brigades left for the Boxer Rebellion; 75 years since the Citizen Air Force was raised with No 1 & 3 SQNS.

    In 1800 Governor John Hunter appointed Officers and formed the Loyal Sydney and Parramatta Associations each with 50 rank and file; in September 1900 part-time members of the Naval Brigades left for the Boxer Rebellion; and on 1 July 1925 the first CAF Squadrons were raised, Number 1 and 3 Squadrons at Point Cook with Number 3 Squadron moving to Richmond in 1928.

    These events were significant in Australia’s history and were celebrated throughout Australia with the national celebration taking place in Sydney on Sunday 2 July with the Opera House forecourt used as part of the parade. Past and present members formed up in Hyde Park and marched down historic Macquarie Street to the Opera House, where appropriate speeches were given to mark the day in history. A 19-gun salute was fired from the Man o' War steps and No 3 Squadron RAAF, now a permanent forces unit, flew two spectacular flypasts with four F18 Hornets.

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    Manufacturer: Adelaide Mint

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