HMAS
Marguerite

HMAS Marguerite
Class
Flower Class
Type
Minesweeping Sloop
Pennant
T51
Builder
Dunlop Bremner, UK
Launched
23 November 1915
Commissioned
31 January 1920
Decommissioned
23 July 1929
Dimensions & Displacement
Displacement 1250 tons
Length 267 feet 9 inches
Beam 33 feet 6 inches
Draught 11 feet 9 inches
Performance
Speed 16.5 knots
Range 2000 miles at 15 knots
Complement
Crew 79
Propulsion
Machinery 1 set of triple expansion inverted and 2 cylindrical boilers
Armament
Guns
  • 1 x 4-inch gun
  • 2 x 3-pounder gun

HMS Marguerite arrived in Sydney, in company with her sister ships Mallow and Geranium, on 8 June 1919 to conduct mine-sweeping in New Zealand waters; clearing mines laid by the German raider SMS Wolf in 1917. On completion of this task the three ships undertook mine-sweeping off Cape Everard, Victoria also searching for mines laid by Wolf in Bass Strait. One German mine was located and destroyed.

On 18 October 1919 the three minesweepers were paid off in Sydney and subsequently gifted to the RAN, by the Admiralty, as mine-sweeping training vessels. HMAS Marguerite was commissioned in the RAN on 31 January 1920 and was soon on her way to Fiji to provide assistance to the British colonial government following an outbreak of violent strikes by ethnic Indian members of the Public Works Department demanding an increase in their wages. She arrived in Suva on 14 February 1920 and while her ships company did not land, to suppress the violence, this significant show of force helped cause the strike to collapse on 16 February. Soldiers from New Zealand had also been sent to augment the Fijian Police Force.

Marguerite remained in Fijian waters until mid-March and then returned to Sydney, via Norfolk Island, on 24 March 1920. Following her return to Australia she operated as a Naval Reserve training ship with frequent cruises from Sydney to Jervis Bay and a voyage to Brisbane, Hervey Bay and Gladstone in August - September 1921. She was placed in reserve at Sydney on 15 June 1922.

Marguerite was re-activated for mine-sweeping exercises in Broken Bay and Jervis Bay, with her sister ship Mallow, in August - September 1923 before returning to the reserve fleet. She was recommissioned in June 1924 for a showing the flag cruise to Vila (New Hebrides), Tulagi (Solomon Islands) and Rabaul and Port Moresby (New Guinea) during June - July of that year. The remainder of her sea-going career was spent in Australian coastal waters chiefly as a Naval Reserve training vessel with extensive visits to New South Wales, Victorian, Tasmanian, South Australian, Western Australian and Queensland ports.

She was decommissioned at Sydney on 23 July 1929 and placed in reserve. Marguerite was dismantled at Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney, in September 1932 and her hulk was sunk by gunfire off Sydney on 1 August 1935.

HMAS Marguerite in Port Melbourne 1926
HMAS Marguerite in Port Melbourne, 1926.