When war was declared in August 1914, Australians sprung to action to fight for the cause. One early order of business was to counter the German colony of New Guinea.
Within weeks, volunteers rose to the challenge and successfully formed the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force, which occupied the township of Rabaul on 11 September.
A small party proceeded to the village of Bita Paka, and subsequently destroyed a German wireless station. In the engagement with the German Reservists and Melanesian native police, seven serving Australians were killed; the first Australians to make the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War.
This conflict marks the earliest example of unity among Australian volunteers – and the first Australian lives to be claimed by the War.
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 a representation of the HMAS Warrego journey towards the German wireless station.