Sunday, 3 March 2013

HMAS Melbourne (1) Centenary Exhibition

Life Buoy of the Melbourne, 1920s, AWM REL 12103

Fear God and Honour the King:  HMAS Melbourne (1) 1913-1928

Exhibition date:   18 February  – 1 May

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria, an official supporter of the Military History and Heritage Victoria (MHHV), is pleased to host a major exhibition presented by MHHV to commemorate the centenary of the arrival of Australia’s first light cruiser, HMAS Melbourne, in Port Phillip Bay on 26 March 1913. The ship took the name and crest of the City of Melbourne and its credo ‘Gather Strength as She Goes’.

The Melbourne, a 5,600 ton ship with eight 6-inch guns, served the Royal Australian Navy from its commissioning in England in 1912 until its decommissioning, also in England in 1928. She saw war service in the operations against the German colonies in the SW Pacific in 1914, escorted the 1st AIF fleet from Albany, WA; saw service with the West Indies Squadron in 1915-1916; then served with the North Sea Fleet from 1916-1918. In 1922 the Melbourne was involved in a dramatic rescue of the crew of an American schooner in the Tasman Sea, at the height of a hurricane.

The exhibition, which takes its name from the scroll donated to the ship by the City of Melbourne in 1913, will feature the ship’s original crest, memorabilia, photographs and documents kindly lent by the Australian War Memorial, the Australian National Maritime Museum, Museum Victoria, Monash University, the Museum of HMAS Cerberus, State Library of South Australia and from individual donations. HMAS Melbourne on patrol in the Caribbean. The exhibition examines the ship’s war service as well as the crew who served her.

Sponsors of the exhibition include the Port of Melbourne Corporation, Navy Health, the Melbourne Naval Centre and Cooee History and Heritage.

To book or find out more ring 9326 9288 or email

The exhibition ends 1 May.

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