Australian Service – World War One

 A rebirth for HMAS Gayundah


On 5 August 1914 Australia received a telegram informing her of the previous days’ declaration of war by Great Britain on Germany.  At the time, HMAS Gayundah, former flagship of the Queensland Navy, is en route from Sydney to Brisbane.

In 1914 she was one of the oldest ships in the R.A.N.

Gayundah’s 8-inch for’d gun was removed and she was sent to Sydney where a raised forecastle was built onto her, making her more seaworthy and more able to maintain speed at sea.

Gayundah at Cockatoo Island for refit
The gunboat HMAS Gayundah on arrival at Cockatoo Island in 1914 for an extensive refit and conversion to a training ship. Her appearance was substantially altered during this refit.



Gayundah undergoing structural alterations at Cockatoo Island, Sydney in 1914. Note the raised fo’c’sle. The ship is nearly ready for re-launching. Copyright: Details unknown.

HMAS Gayundah was commissioned at Sydney on 9th November, 1915, as tender to HMAS Tingira  (Naval Order 94, 1915)

Gayundah commissioning 1915

Her World War One career was largely uneventful. She spent her time patrolling the eastern seaboard and her familiar stamping ground of Moreton Bay.  Her wartime roles included those of tender, gunship and minesweeper.

As the war entered its final months, it was clear that Australia was not at any territorial risk, or at least none for which Gayundah was  a suitable solution.

HMAS Gayundah was retired from the Royal Australian Navy and was decommissioned on 23rd August 1918.