HMAS
Anzac
(I)

HMAS Anzac (I)
Class
Modified Kempenfelt Class
Type
Destroyer
Pennant
G90
Builder
Denny Bros. Ltd, Dumbarton, Scotland
Laid Down
31 January 1916
Launched
11 January 1917
Commissioned
27 January 1920
Decommissioned
30 July 1931
Fate
Sold 8 August 1935, scuttled outside of Port Jackson 7 May 1936
Dimensions & Displacement
Displacement 1660 tons
Length 325 feet
Beam 31 feet 10 inches
Draught 12 feet 1.5 inches
Performance
Speed 34 knots
Range 2500 miles at 15 knots
Complement
Crew 122
Propulsion
Machinery Brown-Curtis geared turbines, 3 screws
Horsepower 36,000 sph
Armament
Guns
  • 4 x 4-inch guns
  • 2 x 2-pounder pom-poms
  • 4 x Lewis machine-guns
Torpedoes 4 x 21-inch torpedo tubes in two twin mounts
HMAS Anzac (I) Badge

Anzac was the last of six modified Kempenfelt class destroyer flotilla leaders, based on the Marksman class, built for the Royal Navy (RN) under the Emergency War Programme in the shipyards of Denny Bros Ltd in Dumbarton, Scotland.

After commissioning into the RN on 24 April 1917 as HMS Anzac, she became leader of the 14th Destroyer Flotilla based at Scapa Flow and conducted anti-submarine operations in the North Sea and the English Channel.

HMAS Anzac's Bell
HMAS Anzac's ship's bell is now on display in the Naval Heritage Collection

She suffered storm damage in August 1918 which stove in her boats and necessitated the replacement of her two small funnels. At the conclusion of hostilities, she was placed into reserve and laid up at Portsmouth.

In 1919, Anzac, along with five “S” class destroyers, was gifted to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) by the British Government. She was commissioned into the RAN as HMAS Anzac under the command of Commander S.H. Simpson, DSO, RN on 27 January 1920 and on 26 February she departed Plymouth for Australia, and inauspiciously lost a propeller blade forcing her to return to Plymouth. With her propeller replaced, she departed Plymouth again on 10 March and arrived in Sydney on 29 April 1920, via Gibraltar, Suez, Aden, Bombay, Colombo, Singapore, Sourabaya and Thursday Island. That May, Anzac transferred HRH Edward, the Prince of Wales (who became HRH King Edward VIII in 1936) from HMS Renown to Princes Pier for his visit to Melbourne.

HMAS Anzac in Australian service circa 1929
HMAS Anzac in Australian service circa 1929
Anzac in rough seas. In August 1918 Anzac suffered severe storm damage in the North Sea which necessitated the replacement of her two small funnels
Anzac in rough seas. In August 1918 Anzac suffered severe storm damage in the North Sea which necessitated the replacement of her two small funnels
HMAS Anzac in Melbourne for the visit of Edward, the Prince of Wales in 1920
HMAS Anzac in Melbourne for the visit of HRH Edward, the Prince of Wales in 1920
The commemorative certificate presented to Midshipman Glenn Cant when he met the Prince of Wales during the Prince's visit in 1920
The commemorative certificate presented to Midshipman Glenn Cant when he met the Prince of Wales during the Prince's visit in 1920

Anzac spent the majority of her first RAN commission in eastern and southern Australian waters though she visited New Guinea in June and July 1924, and again in May 1926. In December 1922, her commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Reginald C. Creer, RAN, had the rare honour of handing over command to his twin brother, Lieutenant Commander Herbert V. Creer, RAN.

Gun training in Jervis Bay
Gunnery training in Jervis Bay
Anzac's crew recovering a Mk II practice torpedo.ed
Anzac's crew recovering a Mk II practice torpedo.

Anzac decommissioned on 4 August 1926 and recommissioned on 10 January 1928 under the command of Commander C.H. Ringrose, RN. On 9 June 1928 she stood by off the Queensland coast as Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith and his crew approached Brisbane on their historic flight across the Pacific Ocean in the Fokker F.VIIb/3m tri-motor monoplane, Southern Cross. Anzac was again in attendance off the New South Wales coast when Kingsford-Smith made the first non-stop trans-Tasman flight in Southern Cross that September.

HMAS Anzac looking aft from the bridge
HMAS Anzac looking aft from the bridge

In July 1930, Anzac became the first command of the iconic RAN officer, Lieutenant Commander (later Vice-Admiral Sir) John Collins, RAN, and, under his command, visited New Guinea and the Solomon Islands that September. She was decommissioned for the third and final time on 30 July 1931 and placed into reserve. She was sold for scrap on 8 August 1935 and on 7 May 1936, her hulk was towed out of Port Jackson and scuttled.

Anzac at anchor is Sydney Harbour
Anzac at anchor in Sydney Harbour

Presentations and trophies awarded to HMAS Anzac

Presentations and trophies awarded to HMAS Anzac

 

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