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Gunboat The Protector
Title : Gunboat The Protector Gunboat The Protector
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Creator : Gall, Ernest, photographer
Source : B 1714
Date of creation : 1889
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

Gunboat, Protector at Port Adelaide. HMCS Protector had been commissioned by the South Australian government to protect its coastal waters against the possible attacks of raiders and in the aftermath of the 'Russian scare' of 1876-77. It arrived in Adelaide in September 1884. She remained in active service with the South Australian forces, including a role in subduing the Boxer Rebellion, until she was transferred to the Commonwealth government in 1901. For her size she was an exceptionally heavily armed vessel with one 8-inch, 12 ton breech loading gun, five 6-inch, four ton guns - two on each broadside and the other on the stern. There were also five, 10-barrel Gatling guns. The 8-inch gun had an extreme range of 7,500 yards with a shell of 180 pounds. To conserve fuel (coal) she was originally rigged as a topsail schooner for the voyage out to Australia.

The crew was rigorously trained, and regular inspections by the senior Royal Navy Officer in Australia resulted in high praise for officers, men and the ship. Protector's naval duties were light and after the wreck of the Star of Greece in 1888, the authorities decided that the lifeboat volunteers should receive training from Protector's crew, and regular inspection of the lifeboats and their crews were conducted with the result that the efficiency of the crews was greatly increased.
Protector was finally paid off in 1924 after a long service with the colonial and Royal Australian Navy.
Coverage year : 1889
Place : Port Adelaide
Further reading :
Pennock, Robin A warship for South Australia Blackwood, S.A.: R. Pennock, 2000
Parsons, Ronald, The Navy in South Australia Lobethal, S.A.: R.H. Parsons, 1974
Gillett, Ross, Australia's colonial navies Garden Island, N.S.W.: Naval Historical Society of Australia,
Nicholls, Bob Bluejackets and Boxers: Australia's naval expedition to the Boxer uprising Sydney: George Allen & Unwin, 1986
Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing exhibitions. Wooden Walls and Iron Sides August 2004-



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