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15 March 1924 Visit of British warships

 15 March 1924   Visit of British warships

On 15 March 1924 the squadron of British warships, which had been visiting Adelaide for four days, sailed for Melbourne. The two battleships, Hood and Repulse, and five light cruisers, Delhi, Dauntless, Dragon, Danae and Dunedin, were on a ten-month world tour. The two huge battleships had to anchor off Glenelg, but the cruisers were berthed at Outer Harbour and open for inspection. On 11 March 1000 men drawn from the ships marched through the city, and for the next three days the crews were entertained by the people of Adelaide.

Rear-Admiral Sir Hubert Brand, of the flagship Delhi, who heard of the death of his wife in England, was invited to Victor Harbor to stay at Mount Breckan for a few days. In recognition of the town's hospitality the squadron sailed to Encounter Bay on their way to Melbourne. A flagpole was raised on the Bluff where the Union Jack was dipped in salute as the ships passed Rosetta Head. The ships also passed as close as possible off Robe with the battleships five miles off-shore and the cruisers closer at two miles off.

The two battleships were lost during World War II. The Hood was sunk, when a salvo from the Bismarck exploded ammunition on her deck, off Greenland, on 24 May 1941. Only three of her complement of 1419 men were rescued. The Repulse was sunk by Japanese bombers, on 10 December 1941, off Malaya.

Advertiser, 11 March 1924, pp. 16 &17, 12 March 1924, p. 13, 15 March 1924, p. 14.
Victor Harbor Times,  21 March 1924, p. 2.
History of the Second World War, Volume 2 No 5, Purnell, 1967.
Martin Middlebrook, Patrick Mahoney, Battleship,  Penguin, 1979.

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