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Badge of the French sloop-escort ship BALNY

Date: 1938-1998
30 mm (1.18 in.)
Medium: Metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Jean-Pierre Sourdin
Object Name: Badge
Object No: 00039636

User Terms

    A badge from the French sloop-escort ship, BALNY (F729).

    This badge was donated by Jean-Pierre Sourdin who collected badges as souvenirs from visiting French naval vessels from 1938 to 1998. During each visit, the ship's Captain would hold a cocktail party on board and invite prominent French figures in the local community. As editor of Le Courrier Australien from 1954 to 1988 (a monthly French newspaper that has been distributed throughout Australia since 1892), Mr Sourdin was invited to the cocktail parties to generate press coverage on the French port visits. Mr Sourdin was presented with these cap tallies and badges as souvenirs of his visits on board.

    SignificanceVessels of Marine Nationale (French Navy) have visited Australia throughout the twentieth century for rest and recreation, goodwill and to represent France at official celebrations such as Australia' s sesquicentenary and bicentenary. These visits remind us of the links forged by early French explorers of Australia such as Jean Francois Galaup, Comte de Laperouse, Nicolas Baudin, Louis - Antoine de Bougainville and Jules Dumont d' Urville .
    HistoryDesigned in the 1950s, these escort ships were frequently deployed to the remnants of the French colonies in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
    Commandant Riviere class frigates were eventually fitted with four Exocet missiles, which made them versatile warships given their powerful anti-submarine armament.

    Fifth in the Commandant Riviere series, the sloop-escort ship BALNY (F729 ) was laid down at Lorient on 25 March 1960 and commissioned on 1 February 1970. The vessel was named after French explorer Adrien-Paul Balny d'Avricourt, who visited Cambodia in 1870 on a mission to explore the country's rivers.
    After seeing service in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean, BALNY joined the maritime forces of the Pacific in 1976, leaving the region only for routine maintenance. BALNY (with frigate COMMANDANT BIROT) was greeted by some 40 protestors in paddles during a visit to Sydney in June 1991. The protest against French nuclear testing in the Pacific forced authorities to cancel planned open days for the ships, and restrict onboard access only to invited guests at Garden Island.
    BALNY was disarmed in July 1994 and used as a mole in Lanveoc, before being cast off Breston 1September, 2003.

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