On This Day
1914-1918 > WW1
On This Day - 1914-1918
- August 5, 1914
The message conveying the news of the outbreak of war with Germany was received in Australia at 12.30pm.
The disposition of ships of the RAN, at the declaration of WWI, was: HMAS AUSTRALIA, (battle-cruiser), steaming north from Sydney; HMAS MELBOURNE, (cruiser), steaming south from Sydney; HMA Ships SYDNEY, (cruiser), WARREGO and YARRA near Thursday Island; HMAS PARRAMATTA, (destroyer), nearing Townsville; HMAS PROTECTOR, on passage from Melbourne to Sydney; HMAS ENCOUNTER, and submarines AEI and AE2, at Sydney; HMAS PIONEER, at Port Phillip, VIC; HMAS GAYUNDAH on passage from Sydney to Brisbane.
- August 4, 1914
Great Britain declared war on Germany. The telegram informing Australia of a state of hostilities was not received in Melbourne until 5 August. At the outbreak of war the strength of the RAN was 3800 of all ranks.
A warning shot was fired across the bows of the German merchant ship PFALZ by the Nepean Battery on Port Phillip Bay, VIC, when the vessel attempted to escape to sea. PFALZ turned back and was seized. Records suggest this was the first shot fired by British forces against the Germans in the First World War.
The Sydney pilot steamer CAPTAIN COOK, was commissioned as an examination vessel.
- August 3, 1914
Even before the declaration of war between Britain and Germany, the Australian Cabinet met in Melbourne and promptly offered the Australian fleet to Britain.
Port war lookout and examination stations were manned by the Royal Australian Naval Brigade. Stations were established at all major ports.
All wireless stations in Australia were placed under the control of the Naval Board. Censorship of all cable and wireless traffic was enforced.
- July 30, 1914
Garden Island Wireless Station intercepted the Admiralty warning to HM Ships that war with Germany was imminent.
- July 28, 1914
LEUT A. M. Longmore, an Australian serving with the RNAS, made the first successful aerial torpedo drop by a naval pilot from a Short Folder seaplane.
- May 24, 1914
The RAN’s first two submarines, AE1 and AE2, arrived in Sydney after a record voyage from England.
Within a year both submarines had been lost on active service, with AE1 lost during the campaign in German New Guinea, and AE2 lost in the Sea of Marmora during the Gallipoli Campaign.
- April 1, 1914
LEUT A. M. Longmore, an Australian serving with the Naval Wing of the Royal Flying Corps, flew the First Sea Lord, Winston Churchill, on his first flight in a Maurice Farman seaplane.
- March 2, 1914
HMA Submarines AE1 and AE2 sailed from Portsmouth on their maiden voyage to Australia. The passage took 83 days and was at the time the longest journey ever under taken by a submarine.
- February 28, 1914
The E class submarines HMA Ships AE1, (LCDR T. F. Besant, RN), and AE2, (LCDR H. H. G. D. Stoker, RN), were commissioned in Portsmouth, England. AE1 and AE2 were laid down in Vickers Yard, Barrow-in-Furness, England. AE1 was launched on 22 May 1913, and AE2 on 18 June 1913. AE1 and AE2 departed Portsmouth on 2 March 1914, for Australia.
- January 1, 1914
HMAS Pioneer was commissioned as a training ship on 1st January 1914 after being handed over to the RAN on 1st March 1913.