16 July 2016 War at Sea – The Navy in WW1

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16 July 2016 War at Sea – The Navy in WW1

Images and raw personal accounts of what it was like to fight in the Royal Australian Navy during WWI are currently on show at Coffs Harbour Regional Museum.

 

On loan from the Australian National Maritime Museum, the pictures and information provide visitors with a graphic and fascinating insight into life aboard a wartime Australian fighting ship.

 

“This exhibition is another chance to see and hear from the men who fought so bravely for us during WWI during these centenary commemoration years,” said Museum Director Dr Leigh Summers.

 

Did you know that the first Allied unit in the combat zone during the Gallipoli campaign was the RAN Submarine AE2? A Dorrigo farmer, Harry Kinder, was a crewman on AE2 and he wrote a diary of his experiences up to his capture and imprisonment as a POW of the Turkish forces. He never spoke or wrote of his experiences as a POW.

 

Other fascinating facts from the exhibition include:

·         The first Australian casualties of WWI were seamen in the Battle of Pita Paka, New Guinea. Six were killed and Submarine AE1 disappeared off the coast of New Guinea with the loss of its crew of 35.

·         The sinking of the German Cruiser, SMS Emden, by HMAS Sydney off the coast of the Cocos and Keeling Islands was considered the first ‘Great Military Victory’ of WWI.

·         The first ever air attack on a RAN vessel was by German Zeppelin L43, against HMAS Sydney.

The Coffs Harbour Regional Museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am until 4pm. Admission is $5 per adult and children 16 and under are free. It is located at 215 Harbour Drive.

 

The exhibition closes on August 8.