CLASSIC REPEATS! The Great War: HMAS Australia steamed into Sydney Harbour

A CREDIT: “LIKE THE NATION IT SERVES, THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY IS STILL YOUNG.” WROTE PETER SMARK. “IT’S SURVIVED TO MOULD ITSELF INTO ONE OF THE FINEST, BEST-TRAINED NAVIES OF ITS SIZE IN THE WORLD.” THE PAINTING, AT TOP, SHOWS THE BATTLE-CRUISER HMAS AUSTRALIA LEADING THE AUSSIE FLEET INTO SYDNEY HARBOUR ON OCTOBER 4, 1913. SOURCE: 75 YEARS GUIDE, A TRIBUTE TO THE RAN, A SUN-HERALD FEATURE 1986.

The first cruiser is a memorable event to the advent of the Australian Fleet, said the Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Cook.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

The dreadnought battle cruiser HMAS Australia, the nation’s first flag ship, stole the show as it steamed into Sydney Harbour. - Ahead were a squadron of ships which comprised the newly-found Australian Fleet. For this historic occasion, the day was perfect.

It was October 4, 1913.

With HMAS Australia, came the light cruisers Melbourne, Sydney and Encounter – on loan from the Admiralty pending the completion of the Brisbane – and the torpedo destroyers Warrego, Parramatta and Yarra.

Thousands of people line the cliffs and along the shores of Port Jackson watching this fulfilment of many years of hopes, dreams and endeavour.

“Since Captain Cook’s arrival, no more memorable event has happened than the advent of the Australian Fleet,” the Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Cook said.

BUT IT WAS AGREED

In 1909, Britain became alarmed by the rapid growth of German naval power. The Admiralty requested Parliament to take exceptional measures to secure the safety of the Empire. An Imperial Conference met in London on July 28, 1909.

The Conference led to Australia and Canada forming independent navies, over which they exercised full control. But it was agreed that they should operate as an integral part of the Royal Navy in time of war.

In discussions, it was recommended that the whole system of Pacific Ocean defence should be remodelled by the creation of three Fleet Units: one on the Australian Station, one on the East Indies Station and the one on the China Station.

HMAS Australia was built at Clydebank and launched on October 25, 1911. She weight 18,800 tons and cost $3,700,000 and could attain a speed of 26 knots, and had convey off about 800 crewmembers. Her length was 590 feet overall, beam 80 feet and mean draught 26.5 feet.

The original armament were eight 12-inch, sixteen 4-inch guns, and two 21-inch torpedo tubes. Her armour belt was 6-inch amidships and 4-inch at the ends.

PRETTY SIGHT

The presence of HMAS Australia and her squadron put the nation’s mind at ease. In those times of mounting international tension and, especially when World War 1 was breathing down our necks, the Australia Fleet arrival was a pretty sight.

HMAS Australia escorted several expeditions which annexed German inlands and patrolled the Western Pacific. In early 1915 she went to European waters where she sank a German auxiliary – a German East African liner – and captured 100 prisoners, including many Negroes.

When she joined the British Fleet, HMAS Australia was honoured with the position of flagship of the second battle cruiser squadron. She never saw the thick of action. She missed taking part in the Battle of Jutland , off the mainland of Denmark, which took place on May 31, 1916, because at the time she was in dock for repairs of collision damage.

<< Adapted by Frank Morris from Historical Firsts, produced by Tucker & Company, Sydney.

Picture: One for all. HMAS Australia being towed into position when she moved into Sydney Harbour.


CLASSIC REPEATS! WHAY HAPPENED TO THE HMAS AUSTALIA?

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

HMAS Australia returned to Sydney in 1919. She was to await her fate from obsolescence. Under a world disarmament agreement she was sold for $6000 to be dismantled, and sunk off Sydney Heads in 1924.

This was a sentimental occasion which prompted many people to pile wreaths on Man-o’-War Steps, Farm Cove.

A naval party of 15 petty officers and stokers with long service in the battle cruiser accompanied her to her final place of sinking.

Patsy Adam-Smith, who wrote several books and articles on the ANZACS, said: “My mother told me of the end of HMAS Australia. It was April 12, 1924. We’d read about it in the papers. Under the terms of the Washington Treaty the nations were to disarm.”

I WAS PROUD

My father, Albert Smith told me, ‘Of course we were proud that HMAS Australia was flagship of the Second Battle-cruiser Squadron but I can’t recall any of us admitting it.’

As her mother, Adam-Smith continued: “This day they towed the HMAS Australia out through Sydney Heads and sank her. Your father didn’t say anything. I don’t know what he thought. We all thought it was awfully sad.

“Even though I hadn’t known him during the war I was proud of the HMAS Australia like everyone else. But he said nothing.”

<< Patsy Adam-Smith’s THE ANZACS, Thomas Nelson, 1978.

Picture: Ship goes down. In 1924, the battleship HMAS Australia was sunk off Sydney Heads.


TAKE THAT! A GERMAN BIPLANE IS SEEN NOSE-DIVING TOWARDS EARTH.

CLASSIC REPEATS! SOME AMAZING BUT TRUE STORIES

How did these astonishing photos come about?

FRANK MORRIS

The biplane, with flames pouring from under the fuselage, suddenly appeared to be out of control. The pilot, with a shocked look on his face, was tipped out and was seen spearing towards the earth.

This was a World War 1 photograph which showed a dogfight between a German and British aircraft; the British pilot appeared to let his plane twist and turn in the last phase of avoiding a stunning mid-air collision.

Were these incidents true or false?

According to the journalist who wrote the story, they were “audacious publishing hoaxes.” The journalist said “the pictures had been sold to a publisher for the equivalent of $20,000, a considerable sum in 1933.”

DEFINITIVELY DEBUNKED

The journalist said: “Gladys Cockburn-Lange claimed to be the widow of the British pilot who had taken the photographs.”

It turned out that in 1984 they were “definitively debunked” by the Smithsonian Institutes in Washington. Archivists there realised that Cockburn-Lange was none other than Betty Archer “wife of Wesley David Archer, a model maker in the film industry.”

The journalist said “he had painstakingly made models of all the aircraft and superimposed them on aerial backgrounds.”

<< Idea from the Sun-Herald newspaper, 2013.

Picture: Hoax or not? The British pilot does some fancy flying in an effort to avoid a remarkable air collision.


AT LAST! IBM ROLLS OUT ITS OWN PC

PART 5 -- COMPUTER MILESTONES: FROM DATA PROCESSING TO DIGITAL

Australia has entered the Information Age.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

The 1980s was reputed to be a decade of many “first” – and that’s what happened!

The first portable computer was released by Osborne in 1981. Adam Osborne, sold his computer book publishing company to McGraw Hill in 1979; and he hired Lee Felsenstein to design an inexpensive portable computer. The computer that resulted from this combination could fit under an airplane seat.

Also, IBM delivered it first PC.
…………………..
In 1982, the development of GSM began when the Conference of European Posts and Telegraphs (CEPT) formed a study group called Groupe Special Mobile (GSM). Their charter was to develop a pan-European public cellular system in the 900 MHz range.
…………………
The Internet became a reality when the ARPANET was split into Military and Civilian sections in 1983. Also, in 1983, the first laptop, the Tandy TRS-80 model 100, was rolled out in the US.
…………………...
In 1986, Australian Software Engineering Conference was founded by Dixon-Hughes, Leaney and Skinner.
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The world’s first Software Quality Management Standard, AS3563, was developed in Australia and adopted by the IEEE in 1988.
…………………...
In 1989, Australia has entered the Information Age by taking the nation’s first Internet connection through MUNARRI at Melbourne University.

<< ACS Milestones, The Australian newspaper, January 6, 2001.

Picture: Publishing for a computer! Adams Osborne got out publishing.


A PAIR: THECROSSWORD AND ITS CREATOR

THE FIRST CROSSWORDS PUZZLE!

The Crossword is 100 years young! England’s Arthur Wynne, a journalist (above), created the world’s first crossword for the New York World on December 20, 1913.

It was called the Word-Cross Puzzle.

In 1922, Pearson’s Magazine, was the first publication in Britain to buy the crosswords. In 1930, The Times crossword made its debut. Cryptic crosswords made its appearance in 1926. – Frank Morris.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 23 June 17

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