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The Rock-itt : April 2014
OUR ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY TRIBUTE 1914-18 BY SIMON LYON Salvation Army Add New Zealand occupied German Samoa (later Western Samoa) on 30 August 1914. On 11 September, the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force landed on the island of Neu Pommern (later New Britain), which formed part of German New Guinea. Within a few months, the Allied forces had seized all the German territories in the Pacific; only isolated commerce raiders and a few holdouts in New Guinea remained. . Under the command of Colonel William Holmes, the AN&MEF departed Sydney aboard HMAS Berrima and halted at Palm Island off Townsville until the New Zealand force, escorted by the battlecruiser HMAS Australia, cruiser HMAS Melbourne, and the French cruiser Montcalm, occupied Samoa on 30 August. The AN&MEF then moved to Port Moresby where it met the Queensland contingent aboard the transport TSS Kanowna. The force then sailed for German New Guinea on 7 September but the Kanowna was left behind when her stokers refused to work. The soldiers from the Kennedy Regiment were also left in Port Moresby as Colonel Holmes felt that they were not trained or equipped well enough to be committed to the fighting that was expected. The Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) was a small volunteer force of approximately 2,000 men, raised following a request by the British government on 6 August 1914 and raised in Australia shortly after the outbreak of the First World War to seize and destroy German wireless stations in German New Guinea in the southwest Pacific. The force was assembled under the guidance of Colonel James Legge, and was separate from the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) forming under MajorGeneral William Bridges. The AN&MEF comprised one battalion of infantry of 1,000 men enlisted in Sydney—known as the 1st Battalion, AN&MEF—plus 500 naval reservists and exsailors who would serve as infantry. Another battalion of militia from the Queenslandbased Kennedy Regiment, which had been hurriedly dispatched to garrison Thursday Island, also contributed 500 volunteers to the force. The objectives of the force were the German stations at Yap in the Caroline Islands, Nauru and at Rabaul, New Britain. Embarkation of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) in Sydney, 1914 Britain required the German wireless installations to be destroyed because they were used by ViceAdmiral Maximilian von Spee's German East Asian Cruiser Squadron, which threatened merchant shipping in the region. Following the capture of German possessions in the region, the AN&MEF provided occupation forces for the duration of the war. New Zealand provided a similar force for the occupation of German Samoa. HMAS Australia
March Rock-itt 2014