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Badge from French escort ship ENSEIGNE DE VAISSEAU HENRY

Date: 1938-1998
30 x 40 mm
Medium: Metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Jean-Pierre Sourdin
Object Name: Badge
Object No: 00039639

User Terms

    A badge from the French escort ship ENSEIGNE DE VAISSEAU HENRY (E.V. HENRY).

    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 last of the Commandant Riviere class, the sloop - escort ship ENSEIGNE DE VAISSEAU HENRY (F749 ) was laid down at Lorient in September 1962 and commissioned on 1 January 1965. ENSEIGNE DE VAISSEAU HENRY began her career with a two year campaign in the Pacific islands of Polynesia, before being based at Diego Suarez in the Indian Ocean from 1970 to 1972. From January 1970 she visited Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne and then Sydney to take part in the celebrations for the bicentenary of Captain Cook's discovery of Australia. On return to Diego via Fremantle, events in Cambodia ENSEIGNE DE VAISSEAU HENRY to travel to the Gulf of Siam and carry out patrols from Mayto August 1970. During her career this 'untiring traveller' also visited Japan, the west coast of America, Australia (on four occasions), New Zealand, Hawaii, Fiji, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Manila and Pusan.

    In 1991 ENSEIGNE DE VAISSEAU HENRY embarked on a new career, becoming the escort ship JEANNE D 'ARC. Travelling the seas for thirty years, ENSEIGNE DE VAISSEAU HENRY's missions recalled the memory of those sailors involved in France's colonial adventures of discovery. On 14 March 1994 the vessel returned from its fourth and last annual teaching cruise, and was put into special reserve on 31 May. ENSEIGNE DE VAISSEAU HENRY was disarmed on 20 August 1996 and since November 1994 has been used as a breakwater in front of the nautical club in Brest.

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