Education at the Memorial - Collection Detection Answer No. 2
We hope we havent kept you in suspense too long. Here is the latest collection detection mystery solved for you. Well done to those who got it correct.
This is a salt spoon, part of a full silver service made by Wilkins Bremen, originally used by officers and guests in the wardroom of the German inspection ship KGS Komet. KGS stands for Kaiserliches Gouvernement Schiff (Imperial Government Ship). The Memorial has several items of cutlery souvenired from the ship by Australians.
The 977 ton steam powered yacht was built in Bremerhaven in 1911, and was sent to German New Guinea as an administrative vessel for the protectorate. She was based at Rabaul on the island of New Britain, and fitted out in a luxurious manner for the use of senior German staff that went on regular inspection trips of German holdings in the area.
At dawn on 11 October 1914, HMAS Nusa, a small armed yacht which had been captured from the Germans some weeks earlier, surprised and captured the Komet. Legend has it that the Komet’s captain was interrupted during his morning shave by Australians boarding his ship. The crew, of 5 Germans and 52 local sailors, was removed and the yacht sent to Garden Island in Sydney for refitting.
The Komet was renamed HMAS Una and sent back to the New Guinea area where she served as a patrol boat until 1924. The yacht was then sold privately and renamed Akuna. Under this name she served with the RAN as an examination vessel during the Second World War, inspecting ships and boats entering Australian ports. In 1943 she was returned to her owners, and was finally broken up in 1959. After 48 years at sea, she was one of the earliest great ‘work horses’ of the Royal Australian Navy.