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Date: 1930
Overall: 120 x 105 x 102 mm, 0.9 kg
Medium: Brass, wood
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Ring bolt
Object No: 00004611

User Terms

    This ring bolt was made into a souvenir from HMAS ENCOUNTER, one of the first ships of the Royal Australian Navy. Fashioned into an attractive desk ornament, the timber it sits on may well also come from the ship.
    SignificanceThis ring bolt is a souvenir of the ship HMAS ENCOUNTER, which was part of the historic first Australian fleet unit. Souvenirs and commemorative pieces worked from ship fittings, decks and armaments are often the only tangible relics of the ship itself, keeping alive the role of the ship and its company in Australian naval history.
    HistoryThe light cruiser HMS ENCOUNTER was launched in June 1902 and on commissioning sailed for Australia on 31 December 1905. The ship completed six years of service with the Royal Navy's Australian Squadron. During the 19th century Britain was occupied with increasing its colonial territories and maintaining the empire. The British Royal Navy (RN) at the height of its power divided the world into strategic zones or stations that were manned by squadrons of warships responsible for cruising and protecting British territories and shipping. The RN formed the Australia Station in 1859 and it existed until the formation of the Royal Australian Navy in 1911. The ENCOUNTER was initially presented on loan to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) as a seagoing training ship and served in the first Australian Fleet Unit until HMAS BRISBANE had been completed.

    The ship was commissioned HMAS ENCOUNTER on 1 July 1912 and entered Port Jackson on 4 October 1913 as part of the first Australian fleet unit. During World War I, HMAS ENCOUNTER was stationed in New Guinea waters and took part in operations against German New Guinea. Patrol duties in the Fiji-Samoa area then followed protecting the region from the German East Asiatic Cruiser Squadron. In 1916 she patrolled the waters off Malaya and the East Indies. More patrol and escort duties followed in the Pacific, Southern and Indian oceans until the end of the war. Late in 1918 ENCOUNTER shipped medical supplies to Fiji and Samoa to assist in the treatment of an influenza outbreak.

    Originally on loan from the Royal Navy, ENCOUNTER became a permanent unit of the RAN in 1919. She became a seagoing training ship often referred to as the "Old Bus". 1920 saw the ship payed off for the first time but recommissioned in January 1923, disarmed and renamed HMAS PENGUIN. The ship spent the next six years moored alongside Garden Island as an accommodation vessel. In 1929 the ship was paid off for the final time, stripped and taken to Cockatoo Island Dockyard for scrapping. On 14 September 1932 her hulk was towed out to sea and scuttled off Bondi Beach.

    During the stripping of the ship for materials that could be reused or sold, the Dockyard workers made a number of simple yet practical souvenirs such as this desk ornament which perhaps could also double as a paper weight.

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: HMAS ENCOUNTER souvenir ring bolt

    Web title: HMAS ENCOUNTER souvenir

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