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Author: admin, 26.11.2013. Category: What Is Organic Food

The North Sydney end aproach of a young Sydney Harbour Bridge showing the Milson's Point tram and train stations.
The City of Sydney end aproach photographed from the top of the southern pylon of a very young Sydney Harbour Bridge. One hundred years ago, on July 10, 1911 King George V granted the title Royal Australian Navy to what had hitherto been known as the Commonwealth Naval Forces. Throughout the 19th century, Australia’s squabbling colonial governments rarely reached agreement on anything.
For 71 years after the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, Australia’s defence depended on detached units of the Royal Navy based in Sydney. The Australian squadron was paid for and controlled by the Australian Commonwealth and was eventually manned by Australian personnel. At Federation on January 1, 1901, the Governor General, the Earl of Hopetoun, became Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, but not until March 1 did the six former self-governing colonies transfer their existing naval and military forces to the Federal Government.
New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia, the four states which had maintained their own naval forces, were initially reluctant to relinquish their sea power. The ships of Australia’s pre-Federation navies were tired, ancient and entirely inadequate for anything other than purely local defence. Watching the growth of foreign naval power in the Pacific was a visionary Queensland Captain (later Vice Admiral Sir) William Creswell who rightly feared that Australia would be vulnerable to attack by sea if British forces were to be suddenly withdrawn because of a global conflict. At an Imperial Conference held in London in 1909, it was decided to deploy to Australian waters an Australian Fleet Unit consisting of at least a battle cruiser, three second class cruisers, six destroyers, three submarines and a number of auxiliary vessels. The first units of the nascent Navy, the destroyers HMAS Yarra and Parramatta, reached Australian waters in November 1910.

In June 1912, a third destroyer, HMAS Warrego was commissioned at Sydney and in 1913 the battle cruiser, HMAS Australia and the light cruisers HMAS Melbourne and Sydney arrived in Australian waters.
During the same period, the Royal Australian Naval College for the training of officers was opened at Geelong in Victoria, a facility which was subsequently moved to Jervis Bay in New South Wales.
At the outbreak of war in 1914 the Australian Fleet comprised a battle cruiser, six light cruisers, six destroyers, two submarines and numerous support and ancillary craft. On November 9, 1914, the light cruiser HMAS Sydney was escorting the first convoy of Australian troops bound for the Middle East when she was sent to investigate coded messages and the reported sighting of a strange ship off the Cocos Keeling Islands in the Indian Ocean. I apologise in advance but it is tricky to get photos transferred clearly to the computer screen while keeping the files as short as possible. In the first of a three-part series Bruce Stannard reflects on a century of seagoing service to the nation. There was, however, one issue upon which everyone concurred: the defence of our vast island continent was a matter best left up to those demigods, the high and mighty Lords of the Admiralty in faraway London.
In those days, Britannia ruled the greatest empire the world has ever known and the Royal Navy remained unchallenged as her supreme instrument of power. Each retained a naval commandant who reported individually to the federal Minister for Defence. Following the proclamation of the Defence Act 1903, Creswell became Australia’s first Director of Naval Forces.
The following year, on July 10, 1911, King George V granted the title Royal Australian Navy to the Commonwealth Naval Forces. On October 4, 1913 the Australian Fleet entered Sydney Harbour for the first time and in October that year formal imperial control ceased as these units came under the direction of the Commonwealth Naval Board.

The ships and men of the RAN operated an integral part of the Royal Navy and served in all operational areas. The total number serving in the Permanent Naval Forces at the outbreak of hostilities was 3,800 all ranks. As part of securing Australia’s maritime frontiers, the RAN took part in the first amphibious assault of the war when it played a major role in the capture of the German colonies in the Pacific. In the ensuing battle Sydney, with her superior speed and fire-power, destroyed the Emden and thus won the RAN’s first battle honours. The submarine HMAS AE2 had the distinction of being the first Allied warship to penetrate the dangerous waters of the Dardanelles, the strategically vital straight between the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara.
This dragging of the bureaucratic chain went on until May 1902 when the federal government brought them under the collective control of the Commonwealth Naval Forces (CNF). That was a caveat which mattered not at all so long as Big Brother Britain continued to provide the reassurance of naval protection, maintaining up to 24 vessels on the Australia Station. After this operation the ships of the RAN began the vital role of escorting convoys heading for the conflict. The submarines AE1 and AE2 were the only losses suffered by the RAN during the First World War. The Commonwealth made sure of their continuing presence by paying the Admiralty a handsome subsidy toward maintaining the Royal Navy vessels Down Under.

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