Anzac Day, 25 April, is one of Australia's most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War, and on 25 April each year, we remember the Australian servicemen and women who have defended our country. One of the six Tamarama Lifesavers to die serving their country was Able Seaman Gordon Clarence Corbould, he was one of Australia's first submariners. He enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy on 14 Dec 1912 and served on one of the country's first submarines HMAS AE1. The submarine was one of two E Class submarines built for the fledgling Royal Australian Navy and was manned by Royal Navy officers with a mixed crew of sailors drawn from the Royal Navy the Royal Australian Navy and New Zealanders.
HMAS AE1 went missing while on patrol off East New Britain, a province of Papua New Guinea, on September 14, 1914, with 35 crew on board including Able Seaman Corbould. There was no distress call and no witnesses. The loss of HMAS AE1 was the first wartime loss for the Royal Australian Navy and the first Allied submarine loss in World War I.
Over the years there have been 13 searches for HMAS AE1 and in December 2017 a new search, using the vessel Fugro Equator, located the wreck in 300 meters of water off the Duke of York Island group. A team of experts is now analysing footage of the wreck to better understand what happened to HMAS AE1. Because no wreckage, oil or bodies were found it is believed she sank intact, most likely after striking a reef that punched a hole in the pressure hull.
Tamarama SLSC pays tribute to all armed servicemen and women who serve the country and acknowledge and give our gratitude to our current serving Armed Forces Lifesavers; Nicola Welsh, Michael Dixon, Sebastian Chee, Mitchel Dupen, Brent Solomon, and Tom Viet. Thank you for your service on the high seas and on our little patch of paradise Tamarama beach.
Lest We Forget
For more information on the HMAS AE1