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Badge from the French sloop-escort COMMANDANT RIVIERE

Date: 1938-1998
30 x 40 mm
Medium: Metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Jean-Pierre Sourdin
Object Name: Badge
Object No: 00039637

User Terms

    A badge from the French sloop-escort ship, COMMANDANT RIVIERE

    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.

    The sloop-escort ship COMMANDANT RIVIERE was named after French naval officer and La Liberie journalist Captain Henri Laurent Riviere, whose forces captured Hanoi on 25 April 1882 during the Franco-Chinese War. COMMANDANT RIVIERE was laid down in April 1957 and commissioned on 4 December 1962, serving with Force Alpha during the first French nuclear tests in the Pacific. She was reconfigured as an experimental vessel in 1984 for the anti-submarine fight and decommisioned on 15 July 1992 .

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