The AE1 - Australia's First Submarine

 
This site contains the  extensive research into the AE1. Undertaken by Peter Richardson over a period of three decades, a wealth of historical data has been accumulated.

Peter hopes that his website may prompt others to offer information, eventually solving this mystery.

"I would like to hear from any source further information about the movement of German Shipping and in particular the relatives of German Petty Officer (or Machinist Mate?) Wilhelm August Ewald Reuschel of the SMS Planet

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The AE1. A - for Australia; E for 'E' Class submarine, and the number 1, as in the first submarine for the Royal Australian Navy. The submarine was built by Vickers Son & Maxim at the Naval Construction Works, Barrow-in-Furness, County Lancashire, England. Her keel was laid down on the 14th November 1911.

AE1 Submarine to Australia - Read On  


Lieutenant
The Honourable Leopold Scarlett

At the outbreak of the First World War, the Australian Government obliged the Allied war effort by organising a Naval Squadron. The proviso by the British Government was, " ....that the German Fleet is considered the first objective... ".

Included in this Squadron was the Military Expeditionary Force. This contingent became known as the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN & MEF). In the Naval squadron were Australia's first two submarines, the AE1 and AE2.

This Expeditionary Force was assembled off the Papuan Coast on 9 September 1914, arriving near Cape Gazelle in the early hours of 11 September. The ensuing events created an enigma that has not been solved to this day.

After reading an old account of the loss of the Australian Submarine AE1 in the mid 1980's, my interest was re-ignited and I decided to conduct my own research into the submarine that went down so near my home town - Rabaul.

Peter Richardson's notes - Read On  

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  PSALM: 107
23: SOME WENT OUT TO SEA IN SHIPS,
THERE TO ENGAGE IN TRADE ON THE GREAT WATERS.
24: THESE WITNESSED THE WORKS OF THE LORD,
HIS WONDERS IN THE DEEP.

DEDICATION

THIS WEB SITE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THE AE1 CAPTAIN, LIEUTENANT-COMMANDER THOMAS FLEMING BESANT, R.N. AND HIS CREW OF THIRTY FOUR SUBMARINERS.

THEY LOST THEIR LIVES ON THE AFTERNOON OF MONDAY, 14TH SEPTEMBER 1914, WHEN THE AUSTRALIAN SUBMARINE AE1 DISAPPEARED WITHOUT TRACE.

"Their names will be enshrined with those of heroes." quoted from the supplemental press release from the Australian Naval Board