Warships on their way to Albany

Published on LEUT Kara Wansbury (author), LSIS Jayson Tufrey (photographer)

Location(s): Fleet Base West

HMAS Stuart (bottom) and JDS Kirisame depart Fleet Base West en route to Albany to participate in the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event.  (photo: LSIS Jayson Tufrey)
HMAS Stuart (bottom) and JDS Kirisame depart Fleet Base West en route to Albany to participate in the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event.

HMAS Stuart and Japanese Defence Ship Kirisame departed Fleet Base West late yesterday to participate in the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event this weekend.

The event will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the departure of the first convoy of troop ships to the First World War which carried 30,000 men from the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) to the Middle East, from Albany, Western Australia.

In 1914, the troop ships were accompanied by warship escorts, HMS Minotaur and HMA Ships Melbourne and Sydney. Two days after they departed Albany, the convoy was joined by the Japanese cruiser Ibuki.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett AO, CSC, RAN, said the international participation demonstrated the importance of this event.

“We are proud to support the events in Albany and I am pleased that our French, New Zealand and Japanese colleagues are able to join us,” Vice Admiral Barrett said.

HMAS Stuart led the two ships through Cockburn Sound and into the Indian Ocean where they will engage in training activities for two days before rendezvousing with the remainder of the Albany convoy commemorative event participating vessels.

JDS Kirisame is a Murasame-class destroyer, with 165 crew. HMAS Stuart is an Anzac class frigate based at Fleet Base East, Sydney.

HMA Ships Arunta and Sirius and HMNZS Te Kaha are also currently en route from the east coast. All participating ships will rendezvous outside King George Sound, on Friday, 31 October and then proceed to anchor approximately one nautical mile from shore for the weekend’s commemorative event.