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Entry card and rules of behaviour on board HMAS TINGIRA

Date: 1920s
Dimensions:
Overall: 110 x 124 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Margaret Kiley-Balas
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Card
Object No: ANMS0831[022]

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    Description
    This entry card was issued to John Berchmans Kiley while training in HMAS TINGIRA. The card explains that Kiley was in class 16 of the fourth division, and was in the second part of the ship's starboard watch. It also details his instructor and division warrant officer. The card explains the Rules for the Guidance of Boys listing the expected behaviour aboard the ship and on land, including obedience and following instructions, items of contraband, personal presentation and uniforms, and foul language.
    SignificanceThis entry card is a fascinating record of the lives of boy sailors on the naval training ship HMAS TINGIRA. It provides insight into the experiences and expectations of over 3,000 young boys who trained on the ship. It also enriches our understanding John Berchmans Kiley, who went on to become a Leading Seaman in the Royal Australian Navy.
    HistoryJohn Berchmans Kiley was born on 29 January 1910 and joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1925. He began his naval service on HMAS TINGIRA, a ship for boy sailors moored at Rose Bay in Sydney, where he trained for 15 months. He went on to join HMAS SYDNEY and travelled to England, returning home on HMAS AUSTRALIA. Kiley also served in HMAS MELBOURNE, and undertook four years of training at HMAS CERBERUS studying a range of gunnery courses. Kiley reached the rank of Leading Seaman, and to his great disappointment was invalidated out of the navy around 1930 due to respiratory illness.

    TINGIRA, an Aboriginal word for ‘open sea’, was originally the clipper ship SOBRAON built by Alexander Hall of Aberdeen and launched in 1866. In 1891 the NSW Government purchased SOBRAON to replace the VERNON - a floating reformatory for boys. SOBRAON underwent a series of modifications and became an Industrial School Ship, or Nautical School Ship, for underprivileged boys. In 1911 the New South Wales Government decided to dispose of the Nautical type of reform in favour of a land based system.

    In 1911 the SOBRAON was purchased by the Commonwealth of Australia, and on 25 April 1912 HMAS TINGIRA was commissioned as the first naval training ship in the Royal Australian Navy. It became the training ship to thousands of young boys who chose the Navy as a career under the Department of the Navy’s boy enlistment scheme. The first intake of boys took place between 1 and 28 June 1912, and at the date of HMAS TINGIRA’s decommissioning in 1927, some 3,168 young boys had had their initial training on board.

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