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Photograph of Able Seaman William Ernest Gould

Date: before 1900
Overall: 126 x 100 mm
Medium: Sepia toned silver gelatin print
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from John Jones Gould
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00047689

User Terms

    William Ernest Gould served as an Able Seaman in the NSW Naval Brigade and is shown here in his uniform and hat, holding a pipe. He sailed from Sydney on SS SALAMIS on 8 August 1900 to serve in the Boxer Rebellion in China and returned home aboard the SS CHINGTU on 25 April 1901. Members of the Brigade were responsible for guarding and policing Tianjin (Tientsin) and Beijing (Peking) during the Boxer Rebellion, along with troops from South Australia and NSW.
    SignificanceThis photographic print provides a clear view of the uniform worn by members of the NSW Naval Brigade in 1900 and an intimate view of William Gould, possibly taken in the yard of his Marrickville home. The photograph compliments his diary (00047688) describing the voyage and deployment to China also held in the National Maritime Collection.
    HistoryAustralia took its first step into East Asian conflicts in 1900, when three colonies sent support to the British at the Boxer War. This was a joint action by several nations including Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Russia and the USA to crush a violent uprising against foreigners in China. The action was immortalised in the Hollywood movie "55 days in Peking". The term Boxer was a Western corruption of the original Chinese name.

    South Australia lent its steel twin screw gunboat HMCS PROTECTOR (Her Majesty's Colonial Ship) with a crew of 110 to assist the British Royal Navy. Victoria and New South Wales sent naval brigade contingents totalling 462 men. The Aberdeen Line cargo passenger ship SS SALAMIS was requisitioned by the New South Wales government to transport the contingent to the conflict. The China Navigation Company Limited vessel SS CHINGTU was requisitioned to bring the contingents home. They steamed through Sydney Heads on 25 April 1901.

    Arriving after the main conflict was over; their main duty was guarding and policing Tianjin (Tientsin) and Beijing (Peking). The Australian colonial forces returned home by May 1901 and all men were issued with a medal known variously as the Boxer Rebellion medal, the Queen's China War medal and the Third China War medal.

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