Fotoeins Fotografie

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HMAS Sydney I Memorial Mast, Bradleys Head, Sydney, NSW, Australia, myRTW,

Fotoeins Friday: HMAS Sydney I memorial, Sydney Harbour

5 October 2012.

I’m on board Sydney Ferries on a day trip to the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Our ferry departs Circular Quay, and makes the requisite sail-by the Opera House on our way to Watsons Bay. We come across a grand ship memorial with the harbour’s mouth to the Pacific in sight. In the city’s north shore municipality of Mosman, the HMAS Sydney I Memorial Mast stands tall at Bradleys Head1 with a small light tower (1905) at the end, presumably warning boats to stay well back of shallow rocks in the vicinity. In the background are Hornby Lighthouse on South Head at left-centre, and the steep cliffs at North Head where land drops into the Pacific.

Commissioned as a unit of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) light cruiser “Sydney” (the First) saw action in World War I. In late-1914 on convoy duty to transport Australian troops to Europe, the Sydney set off to investigate the presence of enemy vessels near the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and found the German cruiser Emden which had been wreaking havoc in the Indian Ocean for two months. The two ships engaged in the Battle of Cocos with the Emden eventually running aground and defeated on Keeling Island, marking the RAN’s first ship-to-ship engagement and the first victory.

After the ship was decommissioned in 1928 and disassembled into scrap metal in 1929, the mast was purchased and installed at Bradleys Head in time for the visit by The Duke of Gloucester in 1934. With the latest round of restorations the memorial was rededicated in 2013. The HMAS Sydney I memorial is the only naval monument in Australia to which ceremonial honours must be delivered by all passing Australian naval ships.


•   New South Wales state, Office of Environment and Heritage
•   Monument Australia
•   Mosman in World War 1

1In the mid-19th century Bradleys Head was assigned for additional fortification as part of a network to defend Sydney Harbour, but by 1859, the fort was no longer used, and by 1870, British troops departed, leaving the colonies on the southern continent to fend for themselves.

During my year-long RTW, I made the photo on 5 October 2012 with the Canon 450D, 70-300 zoom, and the following settings: 1/500-sec, f/8, ISO200, 135mm focal length (216mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at as

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