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Date: 1920
Overall: 30 x 1210 mm
Medium: Cloth
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from John B Kiley
Object Name: Cap tally
Object No: 00036204

User Terms

    This HMAS CANBERRA cap tally belonged to John Berchmans Kiley and was stored in his ditty box. Tallies are attached around a sailor's cap and identify the ship in which they serve.
    SignificanceThis cap tally is part of a collection of personal effects belonging to John Berchmans Kiley. It is an important historical record of the daily life of a boy sailor in the Royal Australian Navy in the early 20th century.
    HistoryJohn Berchmans Kiley was born on 29 January 1910 and joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1925. He began his naval service on HMAS TINGIRA, a ship for boy sailors moored at Rose Bay in Sydney, where he trained for 15 months. He went on to join HMAS SYDNEY and travelled to England, returning home on HMAS AUSTRALIA. Kiley also served in HMAS MELBOURNE, and undertook four years of training at HMAS CERBERUS studying a range of gunnery courses. Kiley reached the rank of Leading Seaman, and to his great disappointment was invalidated out of the navy around 1930 due to respiratory illness.

    The County class heavy cruiser HMAS CANBERRA was launched in Scotland in 1927 and commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy the following year. Prior to World War II the cruiser remained in and around Australia's home waters conducting occasional cruises to New Zealand and New Guinea.

    When World War II broke out in September 1939, CANBERRA continued to serve in home waters, patrolling and escorting ships across the Tasman Sea. In 1940 it was transferred to the Indian Ocean escorting troopships and convoys from Fremantle to Colombo and Cape Town. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, CANBERRA escorted troopships to Malaya and Java theatres of war and supported the landing of American troops at Guagcanal and Tulagi in 1942.

    On 9 August 1942 two torpedoes struck the starboard side as well as over 20 salvos of 8-inch gunfire. Survivors were taken on board US Ships PATTERSON and BLUE, although of the 819 serving personnel 193 were lost.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: HMAS CANBERRA cap tally used by John Berchmans Kiley

    Web title: HMAS CANBERRA cap tally

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