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Sinking of the German Raider "Emden" : 22-December-2008
Sinking of the German Raider "Emden" : 22-December-2008

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams

The original bow of H.M.A.S. Sydney commemorates Australia`s first Australian naval victory in World War One and the sinking of the German raider Emden at Cocos Island in November 1914.

On the 9th November 1914, the German light cruiser SMS Emden attacked the British cable station on Direction Island and was engaged several hours later by HMAS Sydney, an Australian light cruiser. The battle was the first single ship action fought by the Royal Australian Navy. Glossop used his speed and the superior range of his guns to stay out of reach of the German guns and avoided further damage and casualties. Meanwhile, his own gunners gradually found their marks, inflicting sustained and increasingly accurate fire on Emden.

After taking extremely heavy damage from almost 100 hits, and suffering dozens of casualties, Müller decided to beach Emden on North Keeling Island to avoid sinking at 11.15am. The survivors from Emden were captured and Emden was destroyed. Emden's crew suffered 131 killed and 65 wounded, from a total complement of 360. Sydney had three killed and eight wounded.

SYDNEY, Monday: — A portion of the bow of the first H.M.A.S. Sydney, erected by the North Sydney Council on the foreshores of Milson's Point, was unveiled by the Minister for the Navy (Mr. Makin) yesterday afternoon, on the 27th anniversary of the sinking by the Sydney of the German raider Emden. Among those present were several men who took part in the defeat of the Emden, and Anzacs who were in ships that the Sydney convoyed in the last war. Commander Kingsford Smith, who was on the Sydney at the time, told the story of the exploit from the first receipt of a wireless message reporting that a strange ship was off the Cocos Group until the flag off the battered Emden was hauled down a few hours later. "In erecting this memorial," said Mr. Makin, "we not only pay tribute to the heroes of the past, but we express our confidence in those who serve us today." Mr. Makin, lowering the "preparative" flag, which was the signal for the hoisting of the Blue Ensign over the memorial, was assisted, at Mr. Makin's request, by Mr. Hughes, former Minister for the Navy.
Tweed Daily (Murwillumbah, NSW), 11 November 1941.


Address:Olympic Drive, Milsons Point, 2061
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.850674
Long: 151.212385
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:09-November-1914
Actual Event End Date:09-November-1914


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 9th November, 1941
Front Inscription

   Presented By The 
Royal Australian Historical Society
To The Municipality Of North Sydney
To Commemorate The Sinking
On 9th November, 1914
Of The German Raider "Emden"
By H.M.A.S. Sydney

Plaque :

This Famous Relic, Which Was Erected Here
By The North Sydney Municipal Council,
Was Unveiled By The Hon. N. J. O. Makim, M.P. 
Minister For The Navy On 9th November, 1941

L. Fitzpatrick          Town Clerk
Ald. J. O. Cramer   Mayor


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