The Centenary of the Royal Australian Navy

100 years of service – 1911-2011


For the first 10 years or so, following Federation, a motley collection of ex colonial naval veterans made up the ships of the embryo Commonwealth Naval Forces. Previously owned by the states of Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, these veterans had little or no naval power. But by 1911 Australia was expecting a whole new, large and powerful navy. Indeed some of the first ships had arrived in Australia by 1910. King George The Fifth, was graciously pleased to allow Australia the use of the title of Royal Australian Navy – that date was July 10, 1911.

Meanwhile, a battlecruiser, cruisers, new destroyers, submarines, a depot ship and more were being built in the United Kingdom and were nearing completion. By 1913 most were in Australia and the following year Australia was at war!
On this site the Sydney Heritage Fleet has tried to assemble at least one image of all the major fighting ships of the RAN during 100 years. There they are, a battlecruiser, 13 cruisers, four aircraft carriers, a dozen or more submarines, many destroyers and even more frigates, escorts, patrol and support ships.

We invite you to enjoy our tribute to 100 years of the Royal Australian Navy, please click on the links below to view the photo galleries:


Escorts etc.

Fleet Air Arm and Carriers

Fleet train

Heavy Gun Ships

Patrol Craft

Ships of the Commonwealth Naval Forces