The RAN Brigade, supported by men from Australian warships, landed at Kabakaul, German New Guinea, (New Britain), to seize the German wireless station there. HMA Ships AUSTRALIA, SYDNEY, ENCOUNTER, PARRAMATTA, YARRA, WARREGO, AE1 and AE2 supported this landing, and stood by to repel any German warships. The brigade forced their way inland, encountering strong resistance from German native troops lead by German Army Reserve officers, as the RAN advanced to seize the German wireless station. Five RAN and RN naval personnel were killed or died of wounds; LCDR C. B. Elwell, RN; AB W. G. V. Williams; AB J. E. Walker; AB H. W. Street; Signalman R. D. Moffatt; Also killed was Captain B. C. A. Pockley of the Australian Army Medical Corps. AB Williams was the first to be killed, and thus had the dubious honour of being the first Australian to be killed in action during WWI. LEUT T. A. Bond, RANR, distinguished himself in the advance by single handedly capturing 30 native troops, and was later awarded the DSO, which, although not gazetted until 1916, was technically the first decoration awarded to an Australian during WWI
The SS ESTURIA was chartered as a destroyer depot ship. She transferred to the RN in 1917.