Nepean Naval and Maritime Museum

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South Australian Naval Service

Protector in 1900

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In the 1880's South Australia began initial steps towards the establishment of a naval force. Sir William Jervois, then governor of South Australia, was the strongest advocate for a colonial navy.

September 1884 saw the arrival of the 920 tonne ship Protector, at the time the most advanced ship in any of the colonial navies.

Protector was transferred to the Commonwealth in 1901, she also served in China during the Boxer Rebellion. The South Australian government also created a naval brigade to support the Protector.

In 1905 the South Australian government negotiated the purchase of TB 191 from Tasmania, this ship was purchased as a torpedo boat and would allow the navy to use its Whitehead torpedoes which had been purchased many years earlier.