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Candle holder made from timber of the HMAS SYDNEY (I)

Date: 1929
Overall: 60 x 120 mm, 277 g
Medium: Wood
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from the Hardie Family
Object Name: Candle holder
Object No: 00049006

User Terms

    Souvenirs fabricated from timber material taken from HMAS AUSTRALIA as it was being prepared for scuttling in 1924 and from HMAS SYDNEY as it was being broken up for scrap at Cockatoo Island, NSW in 1929. Memorabilia made from the remnants of these ships - timber decking, brass shells etc - is vast. These pieces were made from salvaged teak wood taken from the deck. While large remnants of HMAS SYDNEY were set up as memorials (the bow is as Milson's Point in Sydney and the foremast on Bradley's Head, Sydney), the decking was salvaged and fashioned into items suitable for sale as commemorative pieces.
    HistoryWhile escorting the first ANZAC convoy from Australia to the Middle East during World war I, HMAS SYDNEY I was detached on 9 November 1914 to investigate reports of a strange warship off Direction Island in the Cocos Archipelago. The vessel was in fact the German Dresden class cruiser SMS EMDEN, which had just detached a shore party to destroy the British cable and wireless station. EMDEN stood out to meet SYDNEY, opening fire on the Australian cruiser at 9.40 am. The German cruiser, hopelessly outgunned by the modern, more powerful and faster SYDNEY, was pounded almost beyond recognition before being driven ashore on North Keeling Island. SYDNEY's casualties numbered four men killed and twelve wounded. EMDEN lost 131 killed, with 65 wounded and 110, including the captain, von Muller, taken prisoner.

    HMAS 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 HMAS AUSTRALIA was active in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans during which time the ship became the first battlecruiser 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. HMAS AUSTRALIA arrived back in Australia in 1919.

    In 1924 to comply with the Washington Naval Treaty )which aimed at reducing global tonnage of warships after the Great War) HMAS AUSTRALIA was scuttled off Sydney.

    In March 2007 the deepest ever remote operated shipwreck survey was undertaken some 50 kilometres off Sydney. The survey was a joint venture between the Royal Australian Navy, Defence Maritime Services and the Heritage Office, NSW Department of Planning. The visiting US Navy submersible CURV descended 380 metres down to the 180-metre long, 19,000 ton shipwreck - the largest in Australian waters. The site is protected under the Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks Act (1976).

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