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To commemorate the first visit of the Commonwealth Fleet to Sydney

Date: 1913
Dimensions:
Overall: 2 x 27 mm, 8 g
Medium: Metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Medalet
Object No: 00046528

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    Description
    This medalet commemorates the visit of the newly formed Royal Australian Navy to Sydney on 4 October 1913. One side depicts the flagship of the fleet, HMAS AUSTRALIA, at anchor at Farm Cove. The obverse is inscribed 'To Commemorate the First Visit of the Commonwealth Fleet to Sydney'.
    SignificanceMedals such as this one show the breadth of commemorative ware relating to naval themes. Some were produced as fund raisers, others in memory of an event or a ship but all are tangible relics of naval history.
    HistoryHMAS AUSTRALIA (I) was an Indefatigable class battle cruiser launched in 1911 and later commissioned the first flagship of the Royal Australian Navy. It was built by John Brown and Co Ltd at Glasgow and sailed for Australia in 1913 after extensive gun, torpedo and machinery trials. It led the Australian Fleet Unit consisting of MELBOURNE, SYDNEY, ENCOUNTER, YARRA, WARREGO and PARRAMATTA into Sydney Harbour on 4 October 1913. It was the embodiment of the Commonwealth of Australia's sea power.

    In World War I, AUSTRALIA was active in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans during which time the ship became the first battle cruiser to launch an aircraft in 1918 (light cruiser HMAS SYDNEY (I) was the first Australian ship to launch an aircraft in 1917). In the Pacific AUSTRALIA took part in seizing German Pacific colonies and destroying their radio networks. In the Atlantic it took part in sweeps, patrols and convoy escort tasks particularly in the North Sea and was present at the surrender of the German Fleet at Firth of Forth, Scotland in November 1918. AUSTRALIA arrived back in Australia in 1919.

    In 1924, to comply with the Washington Naval Treaty, AUSTRALIA was scuttled off Sydney's coast.
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