Search the Collection
Advanced Search

HMAS AUSTRALIA (I) in Farm Cove, Sydney

Date: c 1919
Dimensions:
Overall: 80 x 138 mm
Medium: Emulsion on nitrate film
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Nitrate negative
Object No: 00021224
Place Manufactured:Farm Cove
Related Place:Sydney, Farm Cove,

User Terms

    Description
    In this broadside starboard view of HMAS AUSTRALIA at Farm Cove, Sydney, additions to the ship can be seen. A rangefinder and a director tower have been erected on the foremast, and 36-inch searchlights are mounted on platforms around the middle funnel. A single 4-inch AA gun is on the after superstructure. Two steam pinnace boats are alongside the ship. It is believed the vessel is returning to Australia in 1919 after service in World War I.
    SignificanceThe Samuel J Hood photographic collection records an extensive range of maritime activity on Sydney Harbour, including sail and steam ships, naval vessels, crew portraits, crews at work, ship interiors, stevedores loading and unloading cargo, port scenes, pleasure boats and harbourside social activities from the 1890s through to the 1950s. They are also highly competent artistic studies and views - Hood was regarded as an important figure in early Australian photojournalism. Hood’s maritime photographs are one of the most significant collections of such work in Australia.
    HistoryHMAS AUSTRALIA (I) was an Indefatigable class battle cruiser launched in 1911 and later commissioned as 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, and as the flagship of the new Fleet, was the focal point of public interest. AUSTRALIA visited most of Australia's main ports in the first year and several songs and music compositions were dedicated to the vessel.

    In World War I HMAS AUSTRALIA was active in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans during which time the ship became the first battle cruiser 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.

    After the war, AUSTRALIA resumed normal duties in Australian waters until December 1921 when a lack of funding saw the vessel paid off into reserve. Most of the vessel's useful equipment and fittings were removed, and eventually it was decided to scrap AUSTRALIA under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 (which aimed at reducing global tonnage of warships after World War I). In January 1924 AUSTRALIA was sold for a mere £3,000, and on 12 April the battle cruiser was scuttled by demolition charges off Sydney Heads. In attendance were HMA Ships BRISBANE and ANZAC, and HM Ships DEHLI, DANAE, DAUNTLESS and DRAGON of the British Light Cruiser Squadron, and steamers crowded with spectators. The vessel disappeared amid almost as much fanfare as when it first arrived in Australia only 11 years previously.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: HMAS AUSTRALIA (I) in Farm Cove, Sydney

    Assigned title: HMAS AUSTRALIA in Farm Cove

    Related People

    Discuss this Object

    Comments

    Please log in to add a comment.