Sunday History Photo / WA

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 09:22
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Albany is a port city in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, 418 km SE of Perth, the state capital. Albany is the oldest permanently settled town in Western Australia, predating Perth and Fremantle by over two years.
Albany was founded on 26 December 1826 as a military outpost of New South Wales as part of a plan to forestall French ambitions in the region. The area was initially named Frederick Town in honour of Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany. In 1831, the settlement was transferred to the control of the Swan River Colony and renamed Albany by Lieutenant-Governor James Stirling.




During the last decade of the 19th century the town served as a gateway to the Eastern Goldfields. For many years, it was the colony's only deep-water port, having a place of eminence on shipping services between Britain and its Australian colonies. The opening of the Fremantle Inner Harbour in 1897, however, saw its importance as a port decline, after which the town's industries turned primarily to agriculture, timber and later, whaling. Unlike Perth and Fremantle, Albany was a strong supporter of Federation in 1901.
The town has an important role in the ANZAC legend, being the last port of call for troopships departing Australia in the First World War.
Ships carrying the Australian Imperial Force and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (later known collectively as ANZACs) to Egypt to join World War I gathered at Albany in late October 1914. The first detachment departed in convoy on 1 November 1914, with a second detachment departing in late December 1914. Albany was the last place in Australia that these ANZACs saw. The Albany Anzac Peace Park and the Pier of Remembrance were dedicated in 2010, as a precursor to centenary commemorations planned for 2014–2018.



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The First Australian and New Zealand Expeditionary Force Fleet (1st Detachment) comprised the escort vessels HMS Minotaur of the Royal Navy's China Station, Japanese battlecruiser Ibuki, the Australian cruisers Melbourne and Sydney, and the Royal New Zealand Squadron warships Pyramus, Psyche, and Philomel. These warships protected a 38-strong convoy, consisting of the Australian troopships Hymettus, Geelong, Orvieto (which was fleet command vessel), Pera, Omrah, Clan Maccorquordale, Medic, Argyllshire, Shropshire, Karoo, Ascanius, Saldanha, Katuna, Euripides, Star of England, Star of Victoria, Port Lincoln, Wiltshire, Afric, Hororata, Morene, Rangatira, Suffolk, Benalla, Anglo-Egyptian, Armadale, Southern, and Militiades, plus the New Zealand transports Maunganui, Tahiti, Ruapehu, Orari, Limerick, Star of India, Hawke's Bay, Arawa, Athenic, and Waimana.
The Desert Mounted Corps Memorial on top of Mount Clarence is in memory of the dead of the Australian Light Horse Brigade, the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade and the Imperial Camel Corps from 1916 to 1918. The memorial consists of a statue of an Australian mounted soldier assisting a New Zealand soldier whose horse has been wounded and a wall bearing the words "Lest We Forget". The first recorded Dawn Service was conducted by Anglican Chaplain Padre Arthur Earnest White (44th Battalion AIF) on 25 April 1923 atop Mount Clarence, and has been held ever since with several thousand people participating each year. Atop the adjoining Mount Adelaide is the Princess Royal Fortress - gun emplacements, buildings and a collection of military memorablilia to honour the sacrifice of Australian Defence Force personnel spanning the Boer War to today. The contribution of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, president of Turkey from 1923 until 1938, is recognised by naming the entrance into Princess Royal Harbour as Atatürk Entrance, and there is a statue / monument overlooking the entrance on the Marine Drive walking trail.




In 2014 the centenary of the troops leaving Albany was commemorated. Approximately 40,000 people, including the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, marked the occasion by attending ceremonies around the town. The event injected about A$30 million into the local economy.
Today the town is a significant tourist destination and base from which to explore the south-west of the state, and is well regarded for its natural beauty and preservation of heritage.


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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 09:32

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 09:32
Thanks for featuring Albany Doug. We will be going there again next month and will see the new National Anzac Centre opened for the Centenary. I will add it to My Blogs.
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Reply By: Phil B (WA) - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 09:40

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 09:40
Thanks Doug,

Few people know that today's Albany was settled before Perth/Swan River colony.Nice photos and that painting is a ripper.

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Reply By: Member - Peter H1 (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 10:38

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 10:38
Thanks Doug, my father was on the "Hymettus" .
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Reply By: kevmac....(WA) - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 12:07

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 12:07
Thanks Doug............so pleasant to wake up to a story about the place you live !

Just a side note that we will have a lot of RV's here later this year too attending a convention.
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Follow Up By: Road Warrior - Monday, Feb 16, 2015 at 11:31

Monday, Feb 16, 2015 at 11:31
How chaotic was it during the ANZAC commemoration last year? With all the people in town and so forth. We were reading in the papers a lot about the numbers of people expected but not much about how the city prepared for the influx.
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Follow Up By: kevmac....(WA) - Monday, Feb 16, 2015 at 13:36

Monday, Feb 16, 2015 at 13:36
Road Warrior

There didnt seem to be a lot of chaos, except leading up to the celebration itself. Feeding the hordes would have been a handful, but how do you set up for a once in a lifetime event? Only real problem was accommodation, but the temporary campground handled what caravan parks couldnt, even if it was only basic facilities. At least we have seen some improvements to our city that maybe would have taken a lot longer, if hadnt been for the Centenary celebrations. Even if I say so myself , there does seem to be a buzz in the city now.
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Follow Up By: kevmac....(WA) - Monday, Feb 16, 2015 at 13:41

Monday, Feb 16, 2015 at 13:41
Local news article on the "next major event"coming up for my fair citymotorhome/rv rally in Albany october this year
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Follow Up By: Road Warrior - Monday, Feb 16, 2015 at 13:59

Monday, Feb 16, 2015 at 13:59
Yes we will be attempting to come down for the June long weekend/Albany Speed Classic weekend. Great weekend that, plus it gives me another opportunity to pinch some more hibiscus cuttings from the motel car park

I love Albany, I'd happily live there but her indoors reckons its too cold...
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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 12:27

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 12:27
Good write-up, Doug. There's a lot more you could have written, but I guess space and time constraints stop you.

George Vancouver, Matthew Flinders, Nicholas Baudin and Dumont D'Urville, and the early French explorers - the early sealers of the late 1700's and early 1800's - the Whaling industry and the Cheynes Beach Whaling Station - the Bataliers (maritime artists) - the Breaksea Island lighthouse, and the story of the 14 yr old lighthouse girl, Fay Lowe - could each add a sizeable chapter to Albanys history.

The Albany Historical Society website

Just the story of the American Navy White Fleet visit to Albany in 1908, as part of a world circumnavigation by the USN, showing America's aim to challenge British supremacy of the seas, is a story in itself.

Interestingly enough, the White Fleet world circumnavigation was probably the move that brought realisation that coal was finished as a fuel for warships.
Churchill obviously studied the American Navys logistics problems with coaling, and rapidly understood that oil was the fuel of the future for ships.

Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty, along with the brilliant British Admiral John (Jacky) Fisher, drove the decision that all British Navy ships would convert to oil by 1912 - one crucial factor that ensured British warships retained their strategic cutting edge during WW1.
The Americans changed to using oil in their warships at around the same - but the Germans went all through WW1 using coal, and thus had to cope with a major disadvantage.

Here's a fascinating insight into the coal-VS-oil story for warships (and shipping in general), that shows the commencement of that Military/Oil/Middle East/Defence Industries/Oil Companies tangle, that started around 1912.

From Coal to Oil - the pre-WW1 decision that altered wars forever

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 545960

Reply By: Member - Laurie K (WA) - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 12:36

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 12:36
Excellent stuff Doug.

It appears, that of all the Albanys around the world, Albany in Western Australia is the only one that pronounces it as Al-bany, not Awl-bany as seems to be the case elsewhere.
AnswerID: 545962

Follow Up By: kevmac....(WA) - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 13:29

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 13:29
yep we are the only ones to pronounce it as it is spelt.......Hahaha.....even eastern staters get it wrong most times
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Reply By: Villatranquilla - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 15:32

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 15:32
really interesting history - thanks for the info.
I love Albany - we are on our second stint on a farm at Manypeaks and love exploring the area
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