HMAS Submarine AE1Print Page Print this page

The plaque commemorates those  who lost their lives while serving on HMAS Submarine AE1 during World War One. 

In 1914 the Australian government took possession of two new submarines, HMAS AE1 and HMAS AE2, from Great Britain for just over £105,000 each.

AE1 and AE2 finally sailed into Sydney Harbour on 24 May 1914. They had completed the longest submarine voyage ever undertaken. However, the crew and vessels did not have much time for rest and repair: in August the First World War broke out, and they were called up for duty.

The submarines were sent as part of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (ANMEF) to capture German possessions in the western Pacific and German New Guinea. Following the capture of Rabaul, on 14 September 1914 AE1 and HMAS Parramatta left Blanche Bay, New Britain, to patrol around Cape Gazelle. The vessels kept in sight of each other and exchanged visual signals until around 3.30 pm, when a mist descended and the AE1 disappeared. The Parramatta returned to the AE1’s last known position and spent the next two days searching for it, with the help of three other naval ships. No signs of the AE1 or its 35 crew members were ever found.

On 20 December 2017, a collaborative team comprising researchers and specialists from the Silentworld Foundation(SWF), Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM), Find AE1 Ltd., the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Fugro, N.V. identified the final resting place of HMAS AE1 off the Duke of York Islands in Papua New Guinea. The discovery of Australia’s first submarine was the culmination of more than a century of efforts to solve the riddle of its disappearance in September 1914, and learn the fate of its crew of 35. Information gleaned from the 2017 survey, as well as a follow-up ROV examination in April 2018, has at last revealed the cause of AE1’s loss, and brought closure to Australia’s oldest naval mystery.


Address:ANZAC Avenue , Ruth Whitfield Park, Kallangur, 4502
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -27.261211
Long: 152.980111
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 16th December, 2018
Front Inscription
       His Majesty`s Australian Submarine AE1
At the outbreak of World War 1, AE1 and AE2 joined the Naval forces
 assigned to the capture of the German Pacific colonies.
After the German surrender at Rabaul on 13 September 1914 AE1 in
company HMAS Parramatta departed to patrol the St George`s Channel. 
After an at sea meeting the two vessels parted company and AE1 and her entire complement of 35 were lost becoming the Navy`s first major tragedy. 
                    Entombed with their shipmates were 
Ernest Fleming Blake and John Joseph Maloney both Queenslanders. 
          In December 2017 the wreck of the AE1 was found
            in waters of the Duke of York Island group.
                         This Plaque unveiled by 
CMDR Mark MCConnell ADC RANR Commanding Officer HMAS Moreton
                            16 September 2018
is in memory of the 35 men who remain on watch in AE1.
Naval Association of Australia Once Navy- Always Navy

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