Shortly after dawn on 9 November 1914, Australian troop transports and warships received the call that the German raider SMS Emden was lurking in the region of Port Refuge in the Cocos-Keeling Islands.
The closest warship was the HMAS Sydney, which engaged in a protracted and blazing battle with the Emden.
Whilst forcing the Emden to be grounded on the North Keeling Island Reef, 134 German crewmen were killed in the battle. However, it was much more noteworthy that the wounded German prisoners sang resounding praises of the Australians who treated them. This mutual respect under adversity instilled a long-lasting sense of pride and admiration for this noble force, remembered on the anniversary of this battle.
A century later, this battle is still being remembered as Australia’s first naval victory. A bravely-fought conflict that was close to our homes and close to our hearts.
This coin is part of the Australia at War series, to feature 18 coins which will reflect the nation’s pride in these brave servicemen and women.
Coin’s reverse features an intricate design of the two ships involved in the battle, mirrored on the open sea.