New recruits to the Royal Australian Navy are rowed to the Tingira, their training ship, in Sydney Harbour. They are sworn in, measured and given their kit, after a brief sighting by the captain. Their training has begun.
The Tingira was an historic ship, well known before 1911 as a floating boys’ reformatory, the Sobraon. Whether the induction would have been carried out entirely on deck is debatable – and may have been an adaptation because of the camera’s need for light. The recruits shown here are also grown men, which may have been true by 1915, when the footage was shot, presumably as an aid to recruitment. Before the war, the recruits were teenage boys, who were trained as intended recruits for the relatively newly-formed RAN. The Tingira was used for the first 15 years of the RAN, from June 1912 till June 1927, when she was decommissioned and sold. She was eventually broken up at Berry’s Bay in 1942. This footage comes from Alfred Rolfe’s How We Beat the Emden (1915).