Lost submarine brought to life in new exhibition

Published: Tuesday, 29 October 2019 at 2:12:37 PM

Once thought lost to the ocean floor forever, Australia’s first submarine was uncovered off the coast of Papua New Guinea in 2017 and is the subject of a new exhibition at Princess Royal Fortress opening this week.

On patrol for German ships on 14 September 1914, the submarine never returned, with the 35 crew and officers presumed lost. It was the Royal Australian Navy’s first wartime vessel loss and the centre of Australia’s most enduring naval mystery.

A collaborative team of researchers and specialists from a number of organisations located the sunken vessel in December 2017, making international news.

HMAS AE1 Revealed will be officially opened at 5pm on 1 November 2019 to coincide with the National Anzac Centre’s 5th Anniversary celebrations, and will remain at the Princess Royal Fortress’ Main Barracks Gallery until Sunday, 2 February 2020.

On loan from the Curtin University, the exhibition examines the loss of Australia’s first submarine and recounts the discovery of the wreck, revealing the reason behind its sad fate. It features a 3D model of the sunken vessel, and highlights the private, government, and international cooperation required to bring its story to light.

City of Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington encouraged the community to visit the HMAS AE1 Revealed exhibition and the other attractions at the Princess Royal Fortress and National Anzac Centre.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have an exhibition like the HMAS AE1 Revealed in Albany that offers a unique insight into what was one of Australian Navy’s ongoing investigations within a location synonymous with Australian war history, the Princess Royal Fortress,” he said.

Mayor Wellington and Curtin University Senior Research Fellow Dr Andrew Woods will open the exhibition, which was produced by the Australian National Maritime Museum and Curtin University.

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