QLD

Section President

Mr Raymond "Ray" Sandford

Address  
email naaqldpres@outlook.com
Mobile 0447 734 744

Section Secretary

Ms Helen Yench

Address  
email naaqld@bigpond.com
Mobile 0402 239 741

Contact Details

Office Hours Tue & Thur, 0800 – 1200
Phone 07 3891 3040
Email naaqld@bigpond.com
Address PO Box 8301 Woolloongabba QLD 4102
 

Naval “Jack’s” Memorial
Monthly Commeration Ceremony
29th April @ 1100 South Brisbane Memorial Park,
South Brisbane QLD 4101 (inc.)

The Queensland Section will commemorate
the service of LCDR Henry Stoker DSO RN,
Able Seaman Alec Nichols and their
fellow crew members of HMAS AE2

In February 1915 AE2 joined a Royal Navy squadron based on the island of Tenedos; Stoker presented plans for;approval to attempt passage through the 35 mile long, fortified Dardanelles Strait and enter the Sea of Marmara. If this could be achieved, enemy shipping transiting between the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles could be prevented from reinforcing and resupplying Turkish troops on the Gallipoli peninsula.

AE2 depart at 2:30am on 25th April entered the straits at 8 knots travelling on the surface as far as possible. At around 4:30am batteries opened fire from the northern shore. Stoker immediately dived, beginning an underwater passage through the minefields. Mooring wires continually scraped along AE2's sides.

Twice Stoker surfaced in the minefield to make navigational observations and at 6:00am AE2 was within two miles of the Narrows at Chanak, submerged at periscope depth with the sea flat and calm. Forts on both sides of the Narrows then sighted her and soon opened heavy fire. Meanwhile, Stoker, watching through his periscope, observed a number of ships and quickly determined to attack what he thought to be a small cruiser of the Peik e Shetrek type. At a range of 300-400 yards AE2 fired a torpedo and dived to 70 feet to avoid attempts to ram her.

Shortly later I altered back to the original course and ordered 20 feet. As the vessel was rising she hit bottom and slid up on the bank to a depth of 10 feet, which exposed the conning tower. Fort Anatoli Medjidieh opened fire and and shells fell on all sides until AE2 then slid back into the safety of deep water. But relief short lived, for AE2 then grounded on the Gallipoli shore, again exposing herself to the enemy.

About 5 minutes later with AE2 lying with inclination down by the bows Stoker went full speed ahead. AE2 began to move down the bank, with a heavily bump. AE2, continued to descend and at 80 feet she dived off the bank. The bump was calculated to considerably injure the vessel, and probably impaired the fighting efficiency, but as Stoker considered his chief duty was to prove the passage through the Straits to be possible, he decided to continue.

Shortly afterwards AE2 again rose to periscope depth where Stoker established his position as approaching Nagara Point. Stoker bottomed the submarine on the Asiatic shore to await developments. Throughout 25 April, AE2 lay in 80 feet of water while enemy ships continually searched overhead.

At approximately 9:00pm Stoker blew ballast tanks and surfaced having been submerged for over 16 hours. All signs of shipping had vanished, and the opportunity was taken to recharge the submarine's batteries and to send a signal to the Commander-in-Chief notifying him of the successful passage through the 'Narrows' and past Nagara Point .

At that time a council of war was taking place in the British flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth as it steamed off the coast of the Gallipoli peninsula. The British Commander-in-Chief, Sir Ian Hamilton, was in conference with his senior staff discussing the progress of the Allied troops ashore. Moments earlier Hamilton had received a message from Lieutenant General William Birdwood who had reluctantly recommended an immediate evacuation. The situation appeared grave and the matter of re-embarkation required immediate deliberation.

On board AE2, 22-year old Victorian, Telegraphist William Wolseley Falconer use of the Morse key was about to have a profound impact on the discussions taking place in Queen Elizabeth, and forever cement AE2's place in the history of the Dardanelles campaign. The young telegraphist tried in vain to get an acknowledgement that his signal had been received but after several attempts it was assumed that that the wireless equipment had been damaged and therefore the fleet would remain unaware of their achievement.
 

QLD Section AGM / Conference 2021.

 

Friday 14thMay

19:00 Meet and Greet to be held in Sky Lounge Room Members $25.00
Dress: Smart Casual Non-Members $35.00

 

Saturday 15thMay

09:00 for 09:30 Annual General Meeting to be held in the VC Suite Room - Lunch included Members $10.00
Dress: Smart Casual
 
Non-Members $30.00
 
18:30 Ceremony of Sunset performed by the
RAN Queensland Band and Australian Naval Cadets.

 
 
19:30 Dinner Dance to be held in Blue Pacific Ballroom
Dress: S2 Lounge Suit with miniatures /Evening

 

Please Note - Prices shown are per head

Cost $50.00

 

Please forward Names and Numbers
to the State Secretary as soon as possible

 


They are going fast!
Still only $5