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Copper model of Windjammer PAMIR

Date: 1900-1960s
Overall: 115 x 163 x 24 mm, 256 g
Medium: Copper, felt
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Helen Clift
Object Name: Model
Object No: 00048298

User Terms

    Model of the windjammer PAMIR
    SignificanceThe PAMIR model is part of a collection of material from a naval reservist who served in a little known and relatively unheralded unit of the Royal Australian Navy in WWI, Douglas Ballantyne Fraser.
    HistoryDouglas Ballantyne Fraser served with the 1st Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train (RANBT) which was sent to Gallipoli to prepare for the British landings at Suvla Bay in August 1915. Having constructed the piers, wharves and other structures used during the British landing, the Bridging Train then carried out maintenance duties; assisted with the landing of troops, stores, and ammunition - often under relentless shrapnel fire; and finally assisted with the evacuation in December.

    After Gallipoli, the Bridging Train moved to the Middle East, for bridging duties along the Suez Canal and assisting with the Allied advance across the Sinai by landing stores on the Mediterranean coast. The RANBT was disbanded at the beginning of 1917.

    The RAN Bridging Train developed a reputation for being able to build anything that was required. Although it is an all but forgotten naval engineering unit, it was the most decorated unit in the Royal Australian Navy during the war.

    Built in 1905, the famous windjammer PAMIR was one of the famous Flying P-Liner sailing ships of the German shipping company F. Laeisz. It made many trips from Europe to Australia and was the last commercial sailing ship to round Cape Horn, in 1949. On 21 September 1957 PAMIR was caught in Hurricane Carrie and sank off the Azores, with only six survivors from a crew of 86, including 52 cadets. As most of the crew survived the sinking but died before rescue, the sinking was a national tragedy in Germany and made headlines around the world.

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