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Wooden bowl and lid carved from timber of HMAS SYDNEY

Date: c 1929
Overall: 60 x 115 mm, 0.25 kg
Medium: Wood, metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from A E Burley
Object Name: Ship souvenir
Object No: 00029884

User Terms

    This wooden bowl with lid is a souvenir of the encounter between HMAS SYDNEY and the German SMS EMDEN in 1914. It is made from wood from the Australian naval training ship TINGIRA which was broken up in 1942 but during her years of service, 3,168 boys had been trained upon her.

    SignificanceThe TINGIRA has a special place in RAN history. There has been no comparable vessels since and it was inaugural to RAN training. Her cadets achieved a certain status and the brotherhood of old Tinny Boys has been a close
    knit one.
    HistoryHMAS TINGIRA was originally the clipper sailing ship SOBARON. She was purchased in 1891 by the New South Wales government as a replacement for the VERNON who had been used since 1867 as a floating reformatory for boys in Sydney harbour. After a refit SOBARON became a Nautical School Ship for boys, teaching them discipline, academic knowledge, sport, music and some trade skills. In 1912, the ship was purchased by the newly formed Royal Australian Navy and refitted once again, this time as the first naval training ship and renamed HMAS TINGIRA. All those who trained on her went to sea although she herself remained moored at Rose Bay in Sydney Harbour.
    In 1914 HMAS SYDNEY was involved in the Battle of Cocos in which she sank the German light cruiser HMS EMDEN. After an initial exchange of gunfire in which both ships were damaged, HMAS SYDNEY managed to return fire to the effect that the EMDEN was beached and the majority of her crew were killed. The German survivors were later rescued and sent to Malta.
    The success of HMAS SYDNEY in the battle was celebrated in Australia and particularly poignant for those on board the HMAS TINGIRA as “a draft of ex-HMAS Tingira boys had been in HMAS SYDNEY during her action off Cocos Island, on 8th November 1914, when she sank the German raider EMDEN. There had been young German boys in the EMDEN also – and to this day, a strong bond of naval comradeship exists between Australia and Germany (Naval Historical Society/Naval Historical Review, Thurston, H.J.,September, 1979).

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Wooden bowl and lid carved from timber of HMAS SYDNEY

    Collection title: Robert Hartley Burley collection

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