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Date: 1961
Overall: 270 × 255 × 255 mm
Medium: Copper alloy
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Isabel McBryde
Classification:Sound communication
Object Name: Ship's bell
Object No: 00054744

User Terms

    By custom a ship's bell is regarded as symbolic of the life of the vessel. Bells were originally used to signal the time aboard ship and were essential for indicating when crew changeovers occurred. They were also used when required as an alarm and as a fog signal. This bell from MV KANIMBLA was given to Captain John McBryde at the time of his retirement as a mark of his long association with the ship.
    SignificanceThe bell is significant for its association with the vessel MV KANIMBLA owned by the shipping company McIlwraith McEacharn and Co. and built for Australian coastal service in 1936. At the outbreak of World War II KANIMBLA was first requisitioned into the Royal Navy 1939-43 before being transferred as an armed merchant cruiser to the Royal Australian Navy as HMAS KANIMBLA. After the war the ship brought European migrants to Australia and later carried Australian tourists to Japan and other parts of Asia. The bell is significant as a reflection of the changing uses of a well-known Australian merchant vessel during its long career.
    HistoryThis bell relates to the career of John Smyth McBride (1896 - 1987) who, after serving an apprenticeship in sail, served on active service during both the First and Second World Wars, returning to the merchant service after 1945. McBryde served as Fourth Officer on KANIMBLA as a merchant vessel, then later as 1st Lieutenant when the vessel was requisitioned into the Royal Navy (1939- 43). After WW II McBryde was Chief Officer of the KANIMBLA 1950-57 and then Master 1957-61. The ship's bell was presented to him when he retired in 1963.

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