Knighted on board before sailing from Portsmouth

Edward, Prince of Wales (centre), inspecting members of the ship's company in HMAS Australia

Edward, Prince of Wales (centre), inspecting members of the ship's company in HMAS Australia

A redundant Blackpool tram in Havant goods yard between 1964 and 1966.  Picture: Barry Cox Collection

A streetcar named Hayling Billy would have run on saved line

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In 1913 the new battlecruiser HMAS Australia paid a commissioning visit to Portsmouth before leaving for her new home.

She departed on July 21, 1913, escorted by HMAS Sydney arriving in Sydney on October 4.

The ship’s company was christened The Botany Bay Buccaneers by Portsmouth dockyardmen and consisted of 850 men of which half were Royal Navy men the other half Royal Australian Navy personnel.

They included some men of the Royal Navy who had transferred to the RAN.

On June 30 King George V and Edward, Prince of Wales, visited the ship. While on board the King knighted Rear Admiral George Patey on the quarterdeck, the first time an officer had been knighted on board a naval ship since Francis Drake in April 1581.

Here we see a photograph looking onboard from South Railway Jetty and the Prince of Wales can be seen inspecting some of the ship’s company.

Note the sennet hats worn at the time.

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