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A plaque commemorates the contributions of Australian submarine AE1  in World War One.

Australia's first submarines, the AE1 and the AE2, were launched in 1913 and were manned by composite Australian and British crews.

At the outbreak of World War One, the two submarines were sent from Sydney to German New Guinea with the Australian Naval and  Military Expeditionary Force and helped to capture the German colony. On 14 September, a day after the official German surrender of the colony, the AE1, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Thomas Besant, left Rabaul harbour to patrol Cape Gazelle and never returned. The fate of the submarine was never discovered but it is probable that it was caught on a coral reef and sunk.   The wreck of the AE1 has never been found.


Address:Fairbairn & Limestone Avenues, Australian War Memorial Sculpture Garden, Campbell, 2612
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.280169
Long: 149.147612
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event STart Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:November-2014
Front Inscription

HMA Submarine AE1

Battle Honours : Rabual 1914

In early September 1914, HMA Submarines AE1 and AE2 deployed with the Australian fleet to occupy Germany`s regional possessions in the South-West Pacific and remove the threat posed by the German East Asiatic Cruiser Squadron.  

Following a successful operation to seize Rabaul, AE1 was conducting a patrol with the destroyer HMAS Parramatta in St George`s Channel, to the south and east of Duke of York Island, when she vanished on the afternoon of 14 September 1914. 

Despite an extensive search conducted over a three-day period, no trace was found of the submarine or its 35 crew (14 Royal Australian Navy and 21 Royal Navy).

Entombed but not forgotten

Submarines Association of Australia

Source: MA,DVA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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