- A.N. Other and NHSA Webmaster
- Ship histories and stories
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Tingira
- December 1998 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
HMAS Tingira, often called The Cradle of the R.A.N., lay in the middle of Rose Bay from 25th April 1912 until 1927 as a training ship for lower deck new entries. Originally called Sobraon, she was the largest composite ship ever built, sailing with passengers between Britain and Australia from the 1860s until sold to the NSW Government, c1890. At anchor near Cockatoo Island with her masts and yards greatly reduced, she served as a floating reformatory for juvenile offenders.
Following the formation of the Royal Australian Navy, she was transferred into the Service and renamed. A portion of Lyne Park at the western corner of Vickery Avenue and New South Head Road was set aside as a recreational area with changing facilities for the ship’s company; this area is now occupied by the R.S.L. Rose Bay Sub-Branch.
In 1927 the Navy changed the recruiting system, and Tingira was paid off. She lay in Berrys Bay, gradually deteriorating, until being dismantled and scrapped during World War II. Nowadays she would have been preserved.
In 1963, the Tingira Old Boys Association, with the blessing of the Woollahra Council, erected a small memorial to the ship in the park on the eastern corner of Vickery Avenue. Unfortunately, in recent years the memorial has fallen into disrepair and many of the small plaques bearing the names of deceased trainees have come adrift.
[At the time of writing in December 1998] The Woollahra Council has decided to spend $400,000 in upgrading the small park, repairing stonework, providing improved seating and building some form of boardwalk. The R.S.L. Rose Bay Sub-branch will collaborate in refurbishing, the Tingira Memorial with a more permanent means of recording the names; possibly with some provision for flowers. No doubt the upgraded memorial will be officially unveiled, and it will be suggested that any Tingira Old Boys still on deck and their families (children and grandchildren) be invited to attend the ceremony.
Tom Martin (R.A.N.V.R. Retired)