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French Naval officers ascending the steps at Parliament House in Sydney

Date: 5 January 1923
Medium: Glass plate negative
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00034785
Place Manufactured:Sydney

User Terms

    This photograph depicts French naval officers at a luncheon reception which was held at Parliament House in Macquarie Street, Sydney on 5 January 1923. The man second from the left is Frigate Captain Ferret of JULES MICHELET, and the two men second and third from the right facing the motor vehicle is Ship-of-the-Line Captain Favereau of JULES MICHELET and Ship-of-the-Line Captain Lequerre of VICTOR HUGO.
    SignificanceThe Samuel J Hood photographic collection records an extensive range of maritime activity on Sydney Harbour, including sail and steam ships, crew portraits, crews at work, ship interiors, stevedores loading and unloading cargo, port scenes, pleasure boats and harbourside social activities from the 1890s through to the 1950s. They are also highly competent artistic studies and views - Hood was regarded as an important figure in early Australian photojournalism. Hood’s maritime photographs are one of the most significant collections of such work in Australia.
    HistoryShortly after 8 o'clock in the morning on 5 January 1923, the French battle cruisers JULES MICHELET and VICTOR HUGO arrived in Sydney Harbour and fired a salute of 21 guns. The cruisers passed HMAS MELBOURNE at Bradleys Head before anchoring in Neutral Bay. Contre-Amiral (Rear Admiral) F L Gilly was in command of the visiting French squadron. In command of VICTOR HUGO was Captain Lequerre and in command of JULES MICHELET was Captain Favereau.

    At 10 o'clock, Commodore A P Addison of the Royal Australian Navy paid an official visit to the flagship, JULES MICHELET, which was followed by more visits from Commodore Edwards of Garden Island Naval Establishment and the officers from Victoria Barracks. A luncheon in honour of the French squadron was then hosted at Parliament House in Macquarie Street, with the NSW Governor, Sir Walter Davidson, and the NSW Premier, Sir George Fuller, in attendance.

    In the lead up to the Sydney visit, the squadron also visited ports in Fremantle and Melbourne. As their time in Sydney drew to a close, the two vessels parted ways and VICTOR HUGO continued on to South Australia, while JULES MICHELET recommenced their round-the-world goodwill tour on to New Zealand. At the time, they were the two largest French warships to sail in Australian waters.
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