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HMAS MELBOURNE 1914 to 1919

Date: 1914 - 1919
Medium: Enamel, sterling silver
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Badge
Object No: 00009321
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    A womans badge from HMAS MELBOURNE WW1 participation. The badge also features the motto 'Vires acquirit eundo' ("we gather strength as we go").
    SignificanceHMAS MELBOURNE was Australias first light cruiser and was present at the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet on 21 November 1918.
    HistoryHMAS MELBOURNE was Australia’s first light cruiser. At the outset of WWI in August 1914 she was posted with other Australian warships to the Pacific as part of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force who were to capture the small German colonies and wireless communication outposts in the region and to pursue the German East Asia Squadron. After quickly achieving these aims and securing the area, she returned to Australia and on 1 November 1914 was part of the escort of the first thirty eight transports taking the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps to Egypt.
    HMAS MELBOURNE was then given the directive to undertake patrol duties with the North America and West Indies Stations. This area extended as far north as Halifax and as far south as Brazil. She then spent the remainder of the war with the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet patrolling the northern waters, although engine troubles saw her waylaid in England for six months at Birkenhead dockyard.
    HMAS MELBOURNE returned to Sydney in 1919 without having been engaged in any sea battle. Often referred to as Australia’s "forgotten cruiser","MELBOURNE toiled at unspectacular but strategically vital war work as well as showing the flag in the region during peacetime – including as RAN flagship on several occasions" ("The Forgotten Cruiser", Kilsby, A and Swinden, G. 2013, Cooee History and Heritage).

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