Australia’s submarine at Gallipoli
In the early hours of 25 April 1915, Royal Australian Navy submarine the AE2 sailed up the narrow Dardanelles strait to disrupt Turkish supply ships. She faced strong currents, Turkish gun batteries on shore, and mines that had sunk two earlier submarines. Yet the AE2, commanded by Irish Lt. Commander Henry Stoker, successfully passed through the Narrows into the Sea of Marmara, making several attacks on Turkish shipping before she was hit by a torpedo boat. Stoker ordered his crew to evacuate and scuttled the vessel. He and his crew were taken prisoner for the rest of the war, and several died of illness in captivity. Forty years later, Henry Stoker recalled the nerve-wracking voyage.
Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour had the largest shipping dock of its kind in the world when this film was made there in 1916. It shows the building HMAS Brisbane, and its launch on 30 September 1915. Margaret Fisher, wife of then-Prime Minister Andrew Fisher breaks a bottle of champagne over the ship’s bow before it slides down the slipway into the harbour.
‘Australia Prepared’- the Royal Australian Navy
“Since Captain Cook’s arrival, no more memorable event has happened than the advent of the Australian Fleet”, claimed Australian Defence Minister Edward Millen. The Australian Fleet Unit - eight cruisers and destroyers headed by HMAS Australia - assembled in Sydney Harbour for the first time on 4 October 1913. This extract from a 1916 documentary shows that event, plus later scenes of the light cruiser Sydney, probably taken in Albany WA in 1914. Captain Glossop is seen taking command of the Sydney, and RAN sailors board small boats, probably at Man-o-War steps, to go on board her.