Search for 1913 descendants

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Topic(s): Naval Heritage and History, International Fleet Review

Historic drawing of the first Navy fleet in Sydney Harbour, artist unknown. (photo: Unknown artist.)
Historic drawing of the first Navy fleet in Sydney Harbour, artist unknown.

The Royal Australian Navy is searching for descendants of the sailors and officers who sailed into Sydney Harbour on 4 October 1913 aboard the seven ships of the original Royal Australian Navy fleet.

This will contribute to Navy’s 1913 Fleet Honour Roll, a historic legacy of those original personnel and their service.

As part of its International Fleet Review celebrations to be held in Sydney from 3 to 11 October 2013, the Navy will commemorate the 1913 arrival of the first Australian naval fleet by re-enacting the original seven ships entry into Sydney Harbour.

Captain Nick Bramwell, Director of the International Fleet Review, is asking anyone who thinks they may have a forebear who was aboard one of those first seven ships - HMA Ships Australia, Melbourne, Sydney, Encounter, Warrego, Parramatta and Yarra - to email ifr.info@defence.gov.au, so their involvement in this historic occasion can be remembered.

“The stories we have collected so far of these RAN members’ lives are contributing to a historic collection of their experiences, most of which, until now, have only been passed down within families, but which are so integral to the formation of the RAN, and take us back one hundred years to the days of the first RAN fleet entry,” Captain Bramwell said.

To capture the information, the Navy has created a 1913 Fleet Honour Roll which lists the sailors and officers by name and rank, and gives descendants the opportunity to submit images and information about Australia’s first naval sailors and officers.

To date, the RAN has found 25 descendants. Some of the 1913 Fleet Descendants’ stories can be viewed at www.navy.gov.au/ifr/history/1913-fleet-descendants.