PRE-FEDERATION AUSTRALIAN NAVAL STATION OFFICERS SWORD
Australian Naval Station
In the years following the establishment of the British colony of New South Wales in 1788, Royal Navy ships of the East Indies Squadron under the command of the East Indies Station would be station in or visit Australian waters. From the 1820s, a ship was sent annually to New South Wales, and occasionally to New Zealand.
In 1848, an Australian Division of the East Indies Station was established, and in 1859 the British Admiralty established an independent command, the Australia Station, under the command of a Commodore who was assigned as Commander-in-Chief, Australia Station. The Australian Squadron was created to which British naval ships serving on the Australia Station were assigned. The changes were partially in recognition of the fact that a large part of the East Indies Station had been detached to Australian waters, and also reflecting growing concern for the strategic situation in the western Pacific in general, and in Tahiti and New Zealand in particular. In 1884, the commander of the Australia Station was upgraded to the rank of Rear Admiral
At its establishment, the Australia Station encompassed Australia and New Zealand, with its eastern boundary including Samoa and Tonga, its western edge in the Indian Ocean, south of India and its southern edge defined by the Antartic Circle. The boundaries were modified in 1864, 1872 and 1893. At its largest, the Australia Station reached from the Equator to the Antarctic in its greatest north-south axis, and covered 1⁄4 of the Southern Hemisphere in its extreme east-west dimension, including Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Melanesia and Polynesia.
In 1911 the Australia Station passed to the Commonwealth Naval Forces (initially under the command of RN officers) and the Australian Squadron was disbanded. The Station, now under nominal Australian command, was reduced to only cover Australia and its island dependencies to the north and east. In 1911, the Commonwealth Naval Forces was renamed the Royal Australian Navy, which in 1913 came under Australian command. The Royal Navy's Australia Station's Sydney based depots, dockyards and structures were gifted to the Commonwealth of Australia. The Royal Navy continued to support the RAN and provided additional blue-water defence capability in the Pacific up to the early years of World War 11.
This Naval Officers sword dates from the pre-Federation Victorian era evidenced by the Queen Victoria Crown on the hand guard and the etching on the blade.
The sword was sold in Australia by Craig Williamsons and Thomas Melbourne a famous Melbourne department store at its time which is etched into the langet of the blade. This places the sword at the time being sold to an Australian Naval Officer or a Naval Officer serving with the Australian Naval Station. The sword is in good condition and showing the usual signs of wear associated with a sword of this age, the scabbard is in good condition.
Great opportunity for the Australian Navy collector to own a piece of pre-federation Australian Navy history.