German Naval button : Surgeon-Lieutenant A C R Todd, HMAS Sydney

Place Oceans: Indian Ocean, Cocos Keeling Islands
Accession Number REL31582
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Button
Physical description Brass, White metal
Maker Assmann & Sohne
Place made Germany
Date made c 1910-1914
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

White metal Imperial German Navy sailor's button featuring the standard Crown and anchor design on obverse, while the reverse, a brass insert with an integral attachment loop, is stamped with manufacturer's details.

History / Summary

Recovered by Surgeon-Lieutenant Arthur Charles Robert Todd of Tamworth, NSW, one of two surgeons aboard HMAS Sydney during its engagement with SMS Emden on 9 November 1914. Of that action, the Official History states that the two surgeons worked continuously ‘from 6 pm on Tuesday up to 4.30 am on Wednesday’ and returned to the theatre after a short breakfast, tending to both Emden casualties (at least 70) and Sydney wounded for almost 40 hours non-stop. Todd, born on 23 June 1889, enlisted in the RAN in 1914, was appointed surgeon-on-probation on 17 August 1914 and was transferred to HMAS Sydney on 25 October 1914. He remained with the Sydney until 10 June 1916 and was placed on the retired list on 30 November 1917. Todd’s 85 page manuscript ‘Cruise of HMAS Sydney 1914-1916’ is held by the Mitchell Library, Sydney.