Ship's bell : HMAS Parramatta (1910-1928)

Accession Number RELAWM09988
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Brass
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1910
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Brass bell from torpedo boat destroyer HMAS Parramatta. The inscription ' "PARRAMATTA" ' has been cast into the exterior and filled with red paint. The tongue (clapper) is missing.

History / Summary

HMAS Parramatta was the first vessel laid down for the Australian Commonwealth Naval Forces. Built in the United Kingdom and commissioned in September 1910, she reached Australia in November in the company of her sister ship HMAS Yarra. Following the outbreak of war in August 1914, Parramatta took part in operations against the German Pacific colonies. She landed men as part of the force ordered to take the German wireless station at Bitapaka and captured two small German vessels. Parramatta subsequently carried out further patrol operations in New Guinea waters in company with HMA Ships Yarra and Warrego. In December Parramatta, accompanied by Warrego and the tender Nusa, steamed 310 kilometres up the Sepik River to check for any German presence. Parramatta returned to Australia in February 1915 and was employed on patrol work locally and in Malayan, Philippines and East Indies waters. In May 1917, in company with Warrego and Yarra, she sailed for the Mediterranean, being joined en route by HMA Ships Swan, Torrens and Huon, thus concentrating the Australian Destroyer Flotilla. After a brief stop in Malta, the flotilla proceeded to the port of Brindisi in southern Italy. Beginning in October 1917, the flotilla spent much of the next year conducting patrols as part of the blockade of the Adriatic Sea, which was aimed at preventing the passage of enemy submarines sailing from Austrian ports into the Mediterranean. On 16 November 1917, Paramatta was one of several Australian ships that went to the aid of the torpedoed Italian transport Orione. Parramatta, assisted by Yarra, took the Orione in tow, and was attacked by a German submarine in the course of doing so. The Orione was later passed to the care of an Italian tug. In April 1918 the Australian Destroyer Flotilla was incorporated into the 5th British Destroyer Flotilla. On 12 November 1918, Paramatta was part of the Allied fleet that entered the Dardanelles after Turkey agreed to an armistice. After carrying dispatches between Constantinople and Sevastopol in December 1918, Parramatta, with the rest of the Australian flotilla, visited England before returning to Australia in March 1919. Now obsolete, Paramatta was laid up, but was recommissioned for training duties in 1925-26. In 1929 she was dismantled and her hulk was towed to the Hawkesbury for use as convict accommodation, but this decision was reversed by public outcry. She was subsequently used as a barge. Paramatta's hulk was abandoned in the Hawkesbury but in the 1970s her bow and stern were recovered and are now memorials at Garden Island and Parramatta respectively.