Search the Collection
Advanced Search

Souvenir dish with crest of HMAS AUSTRALIA (I)

Date: 1917
Overall: 14 x 150 mm, 103.7 g
Medium: Copper alloy
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Captain J F T Bayliss RN
Object Name: Dish
Object No: 00044453

User Terms

    This circular dish was probably made from scrap metal taken from HMAS AUSTRALIA (I). It features an embossed crest and is engraved with the vessel's name, hailed in 1914 as the most powerful fighting ship to have entered Sydney Harbour. During its relatively short career AUSTRALIA was involved in numerous defence activities, including holding off German attacks on shipping routes in World War I.
    SignificanceAs the first flagship of the Royal Australian Navy, HMAS AUSTRALIA (I) was held in high esteem throughout the naval and public community. Thousands of commemorative items and souvenirs were produced in honour and celebration of the ship.
    HistoryHMAS AUSTRALIA was built by John Brown & Co Ltd at Clydebank, Scotland and commissioned on 21 June 1913. On 4 October 1913 AUSTRALIA was the flagship leading the first Australian Fleet Unit into Port Jackson. It was hailed as the most powerful fighting ship ever to have entered Sydney Harbour.

    From 11 to 13 August 1914 the ship participated with the Australian Fleet in operations against Rabaul and then with HMAS MELBOURNE, it escorted a New Zealand troop convoy from Noumea to German Samoa. AUSTRALIA engaged in operations, including the capture of German New Guinea and the German steamer SUMATRA. With the threat subsiding in the Pacific, AUSTRALIA was moved to European waters and arrived at Plymouth on 28 January 1915. On 8 February 1915 the vessel became the flagship of the Second Battlecruiser Squadron, Grand Fleet, based at Rosyth with sister ships INDEFATIGABLE and NEW ZEALAND. From February 1915 to April 1916 AUSTRALIA carried out patrols and exercises with the Grand Fleet. It suffered damage on 22 April 1916 after colliding with NEW ZEALAND during a heavy fog.

    AUSTRALIA was under repair in Devonport until 9 June 1916 and therefore missed the Battle of Jutland, where NEW ZEALAND replaced her as flagship. On 12 December 1917, AUSTRALIA again suffered damage due to a collision. In 1918 the ship was used for aircraft experiments. In a historic first time on 4 April 1918 and again on 14 May 1918, Flight Lieutenant F M Fox, of the Royal Australian Airforce successfully took off in a two-seater Sopwith aeroplane from a platform created over AUSTRALIA's starboard 12-in gun turret.

    AUSTRALIA was involved with the Grand Fleet at the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet and travelled back to Australia to take part in naval activities associated with the visit of the Prince of Wales on HMS RENOWN. AUSTRALIA's last days as an operational vessel were spent in training duties at Westernport, Victoria where it was stripped of all useful gear and equipment. On 12 April 1924, under escort by other ships in the squadron AUSTRALIA was towed through the heads of Port Jackson and scuttled 39 kms east of Sydney.

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.