5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Royal Historical Society of Victoria
Speakers: Andrew Kilsby & Commander Greg Swindon
All members are invited: RSVP by Thursday 21 March to 9326 9288 or firstname.lastname@example.org
HMAS Melbourne (1) served the Royal Australian Navy from its commissioning in England in 1912 until its decommissioning in 1928. It was Australia’s first light cruiser and arrived in Port Phillip Bay in March 1913. It took the name and crest of the City of Melbourne and its credo “Gather Strength as She Goes”.
The lecture accompanies the exhibition, and will describe the origins of the ship, its construction and commissioning and 15 year career in the new Royal Australian Navy. During World War One Melbourne served in the 1914 campaign in the islands around German New Guinea, capturing and destroying the German radio station at Naru and was present at the capture of Rabaul. It escorted the first fleet carrying the expeditionary force to the Middle East, in the Caribbean hunting German raiders and conducting blockade duties from South America to New York. She was then on Arduous service in the North Sea until the end of the war.
Until her decommissioning in 1928, Melbourne served as flagship of the RAN on several occasions and was able to rescue the crew of a foundering American schooner in 1922, at the height of a gale in the Tasman Sea. She also had voyages to the south west Pacific and Dutch East Indies as well as served on exchange in the Mediterranean with the Royal Navy. The lecture will be full of personal stories of the officers and men who served her.
Andrew Kilsby is an historian with Cooee History and Heritage and has authored Lions of the Day (2008), The Bisley Boys (2009), Fallen Leaves (2010) and articles; he also produces historical exhibitions, conferences and events. Andrew is also Executive Officer for Military History and Heritage Victoria Inc., and Operations and Marketing Manager for the NVVM.
Commander Greg Swinden, RAN,is Deputy Director of the Sea Power Centre – Australia, who joined the RAN in 1985. He has seen extensive service including in East Timor, the Solomon Islands, Persian Gulf and border protection patrols. In 2003-04 he served overseas as the RAN Liaison Officer in Singapore. Greg is co-author of the book First In – Last Out: The Navy at Gallipoli (1990) and holds a BA from UNSW and a Graduate Certificate in Maritime Studies from the University of Wollongong.
The exhbition Fear God and Honour the King: HMAS Melbourne (1) 1913 – 1928 is on at the RHSV from 18 February to 1 May.