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Photographs of a 'Crossing the Line' ceremony aboard HMAS KANIMBLA

Date: 1939-1943
Medium: Silver gelatin print
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS0298

User Terms

    This series of 26 photographs were taken aboard HMAS KANIMBLA during World War II and belonged to Donald Cooper Blunsden. They depict sailors in fancy dress as part of the 'Crossing the Line' ceremony.
    SignificanceThese photographs depict the important maritimel ceremony refered to as Crossing the Line, which celebrates the crossing of the Equator. It is a major event in the career of a sailor, demonstrating they could endure the harsh conditions of life at sea. The ceremony pays homage to King Neptune to ensure a safe voyage.
    HistoryDonald Cooper Blunsden was born on 19 June 1906 in England and migrated to Australia with his parents, living in Enmore, New South Wales. In 1920 at the age of 15 Blunsden tried to register with the Australian Military Forces but was deemed unfit for service. His record shows a request by his father not to let him be enlisted because of his a fractured skull.

    By the age of 33, Blunsden was married and World War II had broken out. With a second sucessful attempt he enlisted with the Royal Australian Navy and was mobilised on 2 September 1939. Blunsden served as a shipwright and achieved the rank of Leading Seaman. He served with HMA Ships PENGUIN II, HOBART and WESTRALIA, with the greatest time aboard HMS KANIMBLA from 23 September 1939 to 25 May 1943.

    Blunsden was demobilised on 22 March 1946 having been Mentioned in Despatches on 9 October 1945 for his actions aboard HMS KANIMBLA in the Persian Gulf.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Photographs of a 'Crossing the Line' ceremony aboard HMAS KANIMBLA

    Assigned title: Silver gelatin prints probably taken by Donald C Blunsden whilst seving on HMAS KANIMBLA during World War II

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