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Naval Message to WYATT EARP from LST 3501

Date: 1948-1949
Dimensions:
Overall: 185 × 200 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Rhod Cook
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Message
Object No: ANMS1446[050]
Related Place:Antarctica,

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    Description
    Collection of 19 black-and-white photographs depicting the 1947-48 Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE). Seven of the photographs are the work of Laurence Craddock Le Guay, who served as the ANARE's official photographer. Three additional photographs in the collection depict the research vessel Wyatt Earp during its participation in the 1938-39 Antarctic expedition of American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth.These photographs are part of a large collection of documents, photographs, uniforms, ship badges and ephemera associated with the Royal Australian Navy service of brothers William Cook and Frederick Cook. Both men entered service prior to the Second World War, were seconded to the Royal Navy, and underwent training at Greenwich and Portsmouth. Frederick Cook later gained fame as the only Australian survivor of HMS Royal Oak, torpedoed by a German U-boat in October 1939. William Cook was the youngest commander of an Australian destroyer during the Second World War, and was First Lieutenant of HMAS Wyatt Earp, the primary research vessel for the ANARE in 1947-48.
    SignificanceThis group of photographs chronicles Wyatt Earp's use in Antarctic exploration, not only in association with the 1947-48 ANARE, but also Lincoln Ellsworth's earlier expeditions of the late 1930s. They capture the vessel's crew executing their duties under normal circumstances, as well as--in the case of William Cook and 'Chippy' Sutherland patching hull leaks--exceptional instances during the voyage. These photos also depict the crew in candid, lighthearted moments that are exceptionally rare among early Antarctic voyages, and even more so on an expedition with a large naval contingent and command structure. Most other known photographs of the ANARE were staged to a large degree for publicity purposes. Several of the photographs were taken by Laurence Craddock Le Guay, an ANARE member who later became one of Australia's most celebrated fashion photographers.

    The entire collection of photographs belonged to Captain William Cook, a Royal Australian Navy officer who served as First Lieutenant aboard HMAS Wyatt Earp. Cook had a distinguished naval career, and served aboard notable Australian warships during the Second World War, including HMAS Perth (I), HMAS Voyager (I) and HMAS Nizam. He was mentioned in despatches for his service aboard Voyager during the Greek campaign in 1941. Awarded command of Nizam at the age of 28, Cook became the youngest Australian to command a destroyer during the conflict. He was later present at Tokyo Bay (while in command of Nizam) during the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on 2 September 1945.

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