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Naval and military officers at Victoria Barracks in Sydney

Date: January 1923
Medium: Glass plate negative
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00034791
Place Manufactured:Paddington

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    This photograph depicts Contre-Amiral (Rear Admiral) F L Gilly (standing right of the cannon) paying an official call upon the District Base Commandant and officers at Victoria Barracks in Paddington during the French Navy's visit to Sydney in January 1923. There is another French naval officer third from left standing next to a Royal Australian Navy officer. The man left of the cannon is Major-General C H Brand (District Commandant). The man behind and left of Rear Admiral Gilly is Sir Charles Rosenthal (Commander of the Second Division). The man to Rear Admiral Gilly's left is Major-General C Cox (Commander of the First Cavalry Division).
    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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