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HMAS TINGIRA cap tally

Date: 1920s
Overall: 30 x 1105 mm
Medium: Cloth
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from John B Kiley
Object Name: Cap tally
Object No: 00036207

User Terms

    This HMAS TINGIRA cap tally belonged to John Berchmans Kiley. Tallies are attached around a sailor's cap and identify the ship in which they serve. This cap tally represents Kiley's training in HMAS TINGIRA.
    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.

    TINGIRA, an Aboriginal word for open sea, was originally the clipper ship SOBRAON built by Alexander Hall of Aberdeen and launched in 1866. In 1891 the NSW Government purchased SOBRAON to replace the VERNON - a floating reformatory for boys. SOBRAON underwent a series of modifications and became an Industrial School Ship, or Nautical School Ship, for underprivileged boys. In 1911 the New South Wales Government decided to dispose of the nautical type of reform in favour of a land based system.

    In 1911 SOBRAON was purchased by the Commonwealth of Australia, and on 25 April 1912 HMAS TINGIRA was commissioned as the first naval training ship in the Royal Australian Navy. It became the training ship to thousands of young boys who chose the Navy as a career under the Department of the Navy’s boy enlistment scheme.

    The first intake of boys took place between 1 and 28 June 1912, and at the date of HMAS TINGIRA’s decommissioning in 1927, some 3,168 young boys had had their initial training on board.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: HMAS TINGIRA cap tally

    Assigned title: HMAS TINGIRA cap tally used by John Berchmans Kiley

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