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Medal - Sinking of SMS Emden by HMAS Sydney, Australia, 1914 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 20938

Medal issued to commemorate the sinking of the SMS Emden by HMAS Sydney.

Emden was a German cruiser that formed part of the German East Asiatic Squadron early in World War I. It stalked Indian Ocean shipping routes and became the scourge of Allied naval ships. On 9 November 1914 HMAS Sydney surprised the Emden while it was attacking the British radio station on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and badly damaged it. The Emden was deliberately run aground. It lost 134 killed and 65 wounded; the Sydney lost four killed and 12 wounded. The medals issued incorporated a portion of the Mexican silver dollars recovered from the Emden.

They were presented to the captain of the Sydney, staff on the Cocos Islands, the Admiralty, (later) the Australian War Memorial and other 'approved' Australian museums. The remainder were sold to the public as souvenirs and money accrued above production costs were to go to the RAN Relief Fund.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 67 mm (Height), 39 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: wars conflicts, world war i 1914-1918
Themes this item is part of: Public Life & Institutions Collection, Transport Collection, The Royal Australian Navy, W. Kerr, Mint, Medal Makers, Sydney, New South Wales
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Commemorative
Tertiary Classification: military history
Series: Commemorative
DateEra: 1914 AD
Obverse Description: Mexican Eight reales from the wreck mounted under looped crown on NOV 9 1914 / HMAS . SYDNEY . SMS . EMDEN
Reverse Description: Attachment stamped W. KERR / SYDNEY Coin: : Cap of Liberty surrounded by rays of sun, three chop marks- one on cap around below; *8 R.M.1888.M.H.10Ds.20Gs. On cap: 'LIBERTAD'.
Edge Description: Milled
Shape: round
Material: Silver
Issued By: Australia, 1914
Ship Named: Royal Australian Navy (RAN), 1914
Mint: Kerr, W. (Mint)
Other Association (See Comments): Imperial German Navy

Souvenir recalling the shipwreck of the Emden, sunk by HMAS Sydney off Cocos Island on 9 November 1914, during World War I.
References: Car. 1914/4
  1. [Book], Leslie Carlisle, Australian commemorative medals and medalets from 1788, B & C Press, Sydney, 1983

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