VIRTUAL VISITS – 2021

YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT # 48 to the AUSTRALIAN ARMY MUSEUM of WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

51 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT -DEATH OF PRINCE PHILLIP(P)

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YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT # 47 to the AUSTRALIAN ARMY MUSEUM of WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

50 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT -VIETNAM VETERANS WELCOME HOME PARADE (P)

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YOUR VIRTUAL DISCOVERY VISIT #43 to the DEFENCE HERITAGE STORIES OF ROTTNEST ISLAND.

146 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – SIGNAL HILL BELL (P)

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YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT # 46 to the AUSTRALIAN ARMY MUSEUM of WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

49 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – DEFENDING THE PORT

 

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YOUR VIRTUAL DISCOVERY VISIT #42 to the DEFENCE HERITAGE STORIES OF ROTTNEST ISLAND.

145 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – MISSING BUILDINGS OLIVER HILL 2

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YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT # 45 to the AUSTRALIAN ARMY MUSEUM of WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

 

47 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – 10 LH TROPHY GUN (P)

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YOUR VIRTUAL DISCOVERY VISIT #41 & 41A to the DEFENCE HERITAGE STORIES OF ROTTNEST ISLAND.

 

143 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – MISSING BUILDINGS OLIVER HILL 1

143 A -OUR VIRTUAL VISIT – OLIVER HILL DRAFT MAP 1

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YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT # 44 to the AUSTRALIAN ARMY MUSEUM of WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

45 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – THE PRICE OF COMMAND (P)

 

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YOUR VIRTUAL DISCOVERY VISIT #40 to the DEFENCE HERITAGE STORIES OF ROTTNEST ISLAND.

141 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – HIGHLANDERS ON ROTTNEST (P)

 

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YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT # 43 to the AUSTRALIAN ARMY MUSEUM of WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

43 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – KINGS PARK BOTTLE GUNS

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YOUR VIRTUAL DISCOVERY VISIT #39 to the DEFENCE HERITAGE STORIES OF ROTTNEST ISLAND.

139 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – DUBROVNIK ON SWAN (P)

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YOUR SPECIAL VIRTUAL VISIT to the AUSTRALIAN ARMY MUSEUM of WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

Special Virtual Visit

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YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT # 42 to the AUSTRALIAN ARMY MUSEUM of WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

42 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – 2 POUNDER AT GUN 

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YOUR VIRTUAL DISCOVERY VISIT #38 to the DEFENCE HERITAGE STORIES OF ROTTNEST ISLAND.

138 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – MAPPING ROTTNEST

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YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT # 41 to the AUSTRALIAN ARMY MUSEUM of WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

41 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – 5.5 INCH GUN (P)

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YOUR VIRTUAL DISCOVERY VISIT #37 to the DEFENCE HERITAGE STORIES OF ROTTNEST ISLAND.

137 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – THE ANCIENT ART OF FLINTKNAPPING

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YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT # 40 to the AUSTRALIAN ARMY MUSEUM of WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

Welcome to 2021 The Virtual Visit series will be continuing to present interesting features from the collection and their background stories.

From 1 February, the Australian Army Museum of Western Australia planned to be open four days per week, Wednesday through Friday plus Sunday . Due to the current lockdown, the Museum is closed for at least the next week.

Mount Eliza Rifle Range – Perth Volunteers

Human use of Kings Park dates back thousands of years. Aboriginal people called the highest point of Kings Park Kaarta Gar-up and the fresh water spring at the base, Goonininup. Today they are known as Mount Eliza and Kennedy Fountain. These areas were important ceremonial places and sources of food and shelter for the Noongar people.

Today, Kings Park is one of Western Australia’s bucket list icons. Offering panoramic views of the Swan River and Darling Range, it is home to over 324 native plant varieties, 215 known indigenous fungi species and 80 bird species. It overlooks the city as well as Perth Water and Melville Water on the Swan River. Its 4.06-square-kilometre (1,003-acre) make it the largest inner-city park in the world. Today the Park is a mixture of grassed promenades, botanical gardens and natural bushland on Mount Eliza with two-thirds of the grounds conserved as native bushland.

Few of today’s visitors, either local, inter-state or international (remember them?) would realise that for 33 years, from 1862 to 1895, a convict-built rifle range occupied the crest of Mount Eliza overlooking the city, Used by volunteers from the Perth and Fremantle Volunteer Rifles, the range roughly followed the alignment of Fraser Avenue with the butts in the vicinity of the present day Western Australian State War Memorial.

History Of The Park

Western Australia’s first Government surveyor John Roe recognised the amenity of the Mount Eliza area and sought to have it set aside for public use but in 1835 the government-approved logging on the site and the colony’s first export of 5 tonnes of Jarrah was cut. Logging continued until 1871 when the government set aside almost 2 square kilometres of public reserve.

In 1862 convicts built a rifle range along the crest of Mt Eliza overlooking Perth for use by the Perth and Fremantle Volunteer Rifles. With residential West Perth and Subiaco threatening encroachment, Crown Reserve 11A of 432 acres (175 ha) on Mt Eliza was gazetted as a Public Park and recreation ground in 1872 by Governor Weld following survey by Surveyor General Malcolm Fraser. In 1895 the Western Australian State Government was established. 450 acres of land adjoining Reserve 11A was added to create Reserve 1720 as Public Park. Construction of the Mt Eliza Reservoir for Perth’s water supply commenced on land excised from the Park

The main Metropolitan Area rifle range which bad been at Mt Eliza since 1862 was closed in August 1895. In 1896, an extensive rifle range was opened on the northern side of the Karrakatta reserve and was equipped with Jefferies’ patented “Wimbledon” targets. [If anyone has details of these targets, a note to the Army Museum Curator would be appreciated – curator@armymuseumwa.com.au ] It was at this range that the Western Australian Mounted Rifle contingents for the 2nd Boer War trained.

In the early days of the Volunteer movement in the 1860s, training was restricted to the handling of weapons, rifle shooting and parade ground movements. With the departure of British regulars and increasing resources in the last years of the 19th century, tactics and field exercises including mock battles became the norm.

The Australian Army Museum of Western Australia does not maintain a definitive or reference collection of long arms used in the period 1829 to 1914. Such a collection may be found at the Australian Army Infantry Museum at Singleton, Queensland. http://www.infantrymuseum.com.au/. In Western Australia, a representative collection of weapons of the period is presented in a technology display in the Pre 1914 Gallery. Like all weapons at the Museum, these firearms have been rendered innocuous and are individually ring bolted. Elsewhere in the Museum, weapons are displayed, where possible, in dioramas providing a context for their operational use.

Rifle Club Movement

As suburbia moved outward from the Perth to Fremantle rail line, the Karrakatta rifle range was declared unsafe about 1911 and closed when the present Swanbourne rifle range was ready for use in 1912/13 

In the 19th century, the rifle club movement evolved alongside defence developments in the Australian colonies. Rifle associations were formed to support the Volunteers and later Militia forces, with the first ‘national’ rifle association formed in 1888. Defence authorities came to see rifle clubs as a cheap defence asset, and demanded more control in return for ammunition grants, free rail travel and use of rifle ranges.

At the same time, civilian rifle clubs grew in influence within their associations and their members resisted military control.  An essential contradiction developed. The military wanted rifle clubs to conduct shooting ‘under service conditions’, which included drill; the rifle clubs preferred their traditional target shooting for money prizes. This divergence can be seen in these early pictures from Karrakatta and Swanbourne Ranges

     

 

One is left wondering, what became of all the magnificent trophies from this period.

 LINKS FOR FURTHER ENJOYMENT

 Visit the Australian Army Museum of Western Australia web site

https://armymuseumwa.com.au/

Researching, documenting and collecting Western Australian military weapons from the Pre and Early Federation periods remains a popular and engaging interest. Many references are available to illustrate the variety of weapons and unit markings showing provenance.

https://museum.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/MILITARY%20FIREARMS%20IN%20COLONIAL%20WESTERN%20AUSTRALIA%20THEIR%20ISSUE%20AND%20MARKING.pdf

https://www.ssaawa.org.au/disciplines/muzzleloading

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C318168

https://amosa.org.au/downloads/2020-07-21_063449_AMOSA%20April%202019%20NEWSLETTER1.1%20web.pdf

https://collectionswa.net.au/items/57be21a5-72f9-4cf6-a497-a86c5586e3ce

https://www.police.wa.gov.au/About-Us/Our-Agency/Police-Licensing-Services/Firearms/Firearms-licences-and-categories

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YOUR VIRTUAL DISCOVERY VISIT #36 to the DEFENCE HERITAGE STORIES OF ROTTNEST ISLAND.

The Virtual Visit series was initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic when Rottnest Island was closed to the public due to social distancing restrictions and periods of use for quarantine from March to June 2020.

 

In spite of the current 5 day shutdown, these Virtual Visits will continue to enable further enjoyment of stories introduced at the Wadjemup Museum, the Chapman Archives or sites around the Island.

 Enjoy, reflect and share.

 PRIZE COURTS AND MERCHANT MARINE INTERNMENT

German Merchant Marine Internees on Rottnest Island 1914

In August 1914, in accordance with international convention, upon declaration of war, enemy vessels and cargo which were captured in port or at sea were processed through the courts of the captor’s country. A “Prize Court” was especially constituted for this purpose, deciding questions of maritime capture in time of war including: whether the capture was lawful; the ownership of the vessel; whether the cargo was “neutral” or “enemy”; and what should be done with it.

Prize Courts became immediately relevant in Fremantle as soon as notification was received in Australia on 5 August that the British Empire was at war with the German Reich. The Norddeutsher Lloyd ship Greifswald arrived in Fremantle Harbour on 5 August war was declared and was detained by naval authorities. The liner Neumunster was captured off Fremantle on 16 August 1914. ‘and the Norddeutscher Lloyd steamer Thuringen was seized off Rottnest on 27 August 1914.

SS Neumunster docked in Fremantle after capture by HMS Pioneer

War is Declared

In 1914, the British Imperial Government remained responsible for the foreign policy of the Empire, including declarations of war, so the British Government did not need to consult any of the Dominion governments when making its declaration of war. The actual timing of the Declaration was 11pm Greenwich Mean Time, 4 August 1914 or 7am, 5 August in Perth. The first shots of the war within the Empire were fired at 12.45pm local time, from the coast defence battery at Fort Nepean, Victoria were warning shots at the German steamer Pfalz attempting to clear Australian waters.

The Australian Government’s role in these circumstances was only to determine the extent of its military contribution to the Imperial forces. Constitutionally, the Australian Parliament has no formally mandated role in decisions to go war. The executive power of section 61 of the Australian Constitution is taken to include all the ‘prerogatives of the Crown under the English common law’ including the power to make treaties with the governments of other countries and making war and peace.  The constitutional situation remains unchanged to this day.

 Prize Courts and the Law of the Sea

The capturing of prizes (enemy equipment, vehicles, and especially ships) during wartime is a tradition that goes back as far as organized warfare itself. An International Prize Court was to be set up by treaty XII of the Hague Convention of 1907, but this treaty never came into force as only Nicaragua ratified it. The International Prize Court was to hear appeals from national courts concerning prize cases.

The convention was innovative for the time, in being both the first treaty for a truly international court (as opposed to an arbitration tribunal), and in providing individuals with access to the court, going against the doctrines of international law at the time, where only states had rights and duties under international law. The Convention was strongly opposed, by the United States and the United Kingdom, as a violation of national sovereignty.

The Fate of the Interned Ships and Crews

For weeks these ships sat in Fremantle Harbour, their cargo off loaded and crews interned at Rottnest while Prize Court proceedings ensued. On 8 October 1914 ‘The West Australian’ reported that Acting Chief Justice Burnside granted an application made by the Crown to hand over the ships to the Admiralty and also handing the cargoes to the Crown for delivery to consignees.

On 23 December, the Prize Court ruled that the application made under the Crown for the condemnation of the ships be granted (ie the ships be declared legitimate war prizes). The right of appeal to the Privy Council was not exercised and in June 1915, the ships became Crown property. The Thuringen was renamed the Moorina and was leased to the Indian Government. Carrying Indian troops, it was torpedoed by German submarines in the Mediterranean on 10 November 1915.

The Neumunster renamed Cooee remained in service in Australia until 1926 when it was sold to a Finnish shipping company. The Greifswald was renamed Carina and was engaged by the navy to transport cargo to and from Europe for the remainder of the war. Subsequently sold several times, she was wrecked in the British Virgin Islands in 1931

SS Carina, ex Greifswald in Australian service 1918

The crews of these merchant ships remained interned on Rottnest until late 1915 when they were transferred to Holsworthy Internment Camp in New South Wales, most remaining there until the end of the war

 Rottnest Connections

The Wadjemup Museum has exhibits relating to Internment in World War One   There is also an interpretive panel on World War One Internment at the edge of the Caroline Thomson cabins. See also the RVGA Chapman Archives under the index  INTERNMENT World War One

http://www.sro.wa.gov.au/blogs/key-prize-war-ww1-wa

https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/wa-archives-hold-key-to-history-ng-ya-382372

https://purl.slwa.wa.gov.au/slwa_b2554592_6

For further reading please refer to the following publications authored by RVGA guides:

Behind Stone Walls and Barbed Wire by Martin Trojan published in Bremen, Germany in 1932. Martin was Second Officer on the Thuringen. The first three chapters of his book have been translated from the German by Mary Coley and cover his time on Rottnest.

Alexandra Ludewig is the author of War Time on Wadjemup: A Social History of the Rottnest Island Internment Camp published by UWA Press in 2016.

Both publication make use of images from the wartime photo album of Karl Lehm an covering his time as an internee on Rottnest and Holsworthy. Refer to National Library of Australia ID 4703393;

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YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT # 39 to the AUSTRALIAN ARMY MUSEUM of WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

39 YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – A SIMPLE RED TIE (2)

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YOUR VIRTUAL DISCOVERY VISIT #35 to the DEFENCE HERITAGE STORIES OF ROTTNEST ISLAND.

135 -YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – EDWARD FOX ANGELO (P)

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YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT # 38 to the AUSTRALIAN ARMY MUSEUM of WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

38 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – GEORGE GREENWAY

 

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YOUR VIRTUAL DISCOVERY VISIT #34 to the DEFENCE HERITAGE STORIES OF ROTTNEST ISLAND.

134 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – MILLSTONE TECHNOLOGY

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YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT # 37 to the AUSTRALIAN ARMY MUSEUM of WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

37 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – GS WAGON

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YOUR VIRTUAL DISCOVERY VISIT #33 to the DEFENCE HERITAGE STORIES OF ROTTNEST ISLAND.

133 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – BRITISH REGIMENTS ON ROTTNEST

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YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT # 36 to the AUSTRALIAN ARMY MUSEUM of WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

36 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – POST 1945 GALLERY ANNIVERSARY (P)

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YOUR VIRTUAL DISCOVERY VISIT #32 to the DEFENCE HERITAGE STORIES OF ROTTNEST ISLAND.

132 – YOUR VIRTUAL VISIT – FERRY TSS ZEPHYR

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