The Dreadnought British War Ship - links to annandale and Virginia Woolfe's prank

"The dreadnought was the predominant type of battleship in the early 20th century."  ...
Came across this newbook at Glebe Library today (23 March 2024)

The Girl Prince by  Danell Jones

Virginia Woolf, Race and the Dreadnought Hoax

A new look at a revolutionary writer, a diverse imperial city, and a controversial trick on the Royal Navy.
Hardback £20.00
October 2023 9781805260066 376 pp, 12 pp b&w illus
Digital Available as an eBook


In February 1910, the future Virginia Woolf played the most famous practical joke in British military history....


  • The "Dreadnought" Hoax.,STEPHEN, Adrian.
    rare book: Peter Harrington,London
    The "Dreadnought" Hoax. by STEPHEN, Adrian. First edition, first impression, of Virginia Woolf's younger brother's account of Horace de Vere Cole's elaborate blackface hoax. This copy has a cutting of Anthony Buxton's obituary laid in, describing him as "Emperor in Abyssinian Hoax".In 1910 Virginia Stephen (later Woolf), Guy Ridley, Anthony Buxton, and Duncan Grant masqueraded as Abyssinian royals, with Adrian Stephen as their "interpreter", and were treated to a tour of the Royal Navy's flagship. £250.00 London: The Hogarth Press, 1936 Stock Code: 158525
  • Johnston, Georgia. “Virginia Woolf’s Talk on the Dreadnought Hoax.Woolf Studies Annual, vol. 15, 2009, pp. 1–45. JSTOR, Accessed 23 Mar. 2024.

Dreadnoughts and Australia and Annandale

The story behind the battlecruiser HMAS Australia by | Jan 15, 2024

The Battlecruiser New Zealand: A Gift to Empire
Book Cover
..."The result was that the Prime Minister, Joseph Ward, decided urgent action was necessary and wrote a Cabinet paper proposing a New Zealand gift, which Cabinet approved on 22 March. Their approval enabled Ward to make an offer the same day, undermining the Australian fleet proposals and – at the same time – stealing the moral effect of making a patriotic gesture to the mother country. The result in Australia was electric, redoubling public demands to do the same. Formal fund-raising began in Sydney, and two of the state governments declared that if the federal government did not offer a dreadnought, they would. Andrew Fisher’s government dragged the chain: they already had a political battle ahead with the Admiralty over their local fleet and had no intention of paying for gift warships atop the local fleet expense. Public opinion differed. In the end it became an election issue, and the incoming ‘fusion’ government of Alfred Deakin offered an Australian gift dreadnought on 4 June, separate from the fleet which remained the core of Australian naval policy."... (viewed 24 March 2024)

Australian Parliament Hansard 1909     


Wednesday, 20 October 1909 Page: 4700

Senator PEARCE asked the Vice-President of the Executive Council, upon notice -

1. Has the attention of the Government. or the Minister of Defence been called to the following statement in a paragraph appearing in the Melbourne Age of the 15th October, 1909 : - " Sydney Dreadnought Fund.

Sydney, Thursday.

The Lord Mayor stated to-day that he was pleased to be able to report that Mr. W. F. Buchanan, who had promised , £10,000 towards the original Dreadnought Fund movement, had that day handed over that amount, to be devoted to the purposes of the naval college and Dreadnought farms. In addition, Mr. H, C. Dangar had forwarded a cheque for £1,000, and Gillespie Bros.£100. Alderman Taylor further expressed pleasure at the manner in which the contributors generally had fallen into line to divide their donations between a naval college and farms.

It is understood that the Commonwealth Government is prepared to accept the gift of a naval college, and will furnish complete plans for its construction on Sydney Harbor foreshores?"

2. Is it a fact that the Commonwealth Government is prepared to accept the gift of a naval college in Sydney?

3. If so, has the Government sought the advice of any naval experts as to -

(a) The advisability of the establishment of a naval college ?

(b) In what locality or localities such college or colleges should be established?

4. Has the Government any information as to the cost and annual upkeep of such establishments ?

5. Was the question of establishing such institutions discussed at the recent Naval and Military Conference, and if so, what recommendations were made?

6. If a number of citizens of other States make similar offers with similar conditions attached, i.e., that the college shall be located in their State, will the Government accept them?

7. Do the Government also propose to take over the suggested " Dreadnought farms," and what is the particular nature of a " Dreadnought farm"?

Senator MILLEN - The answer to the honorable senator's questions is as follows : -

I lay on the table copy of a letter recently received from the Lord Mayor of Sydney conveying an extremely handsome and generous offer to the Commonwealth which, on its behalf, we gratefully accept.

The establishment of a Naval College has been contemplated for a long time and advice from our responsible naval officers taken upon it. No locality or localities have been specially indicated.

The cost is expected to be within the sum offered through the Lord Mayor. The annual upkeep will depend upon the extent of the training to be given, which has yet to be determined. These questions were discussed at and in connexion with the recent Naval and Military Conference, but do not seem to have been the subject of formal recommendations. Any other offers to assist in Australia's naval development will be gladly considered.

No proposals as to farms have been submitted or are expected by the Government. It is understood that the intention is to provide immigrants with some training fitting them for Australian pastoral and agricultural pursuits.

Senator PEARCE - Can the Minister tell the Senate what naval experts were consulted ?

Senator MILLEN - I am unable to do so now, but if the honorable senator will give notice of the question I shall endeavour to supply the information.;query=Id%3A%22hansard80%2Fhansards80%2F1909-10-20%2F0005%22;src1=sm1

DREADNOUGHT FUND. Amount previously acknowledged .£7S,551

Employees David Jones, Ltd.,Hutchinsom-street. Surry Hills 
J Jones and Co., Sussex-street .
Employees J. Jones and Co.
Dr. J. N. Griffiths (London).
Residents of Belmont (Newcastle) ......
Meroo Shire and people of Cumnock ..
Readers of "West Australian" and "West-ern Mill" Newspaper. Perth, W.A...
Albert Robertshaw, Woollahra .
City Bank of Sydney, Hillgrove .
W. Gordon Dixon .
farr H. L!. Ralph .......
People, Murrurundi, Blandford, and Timor
1!. college, Stanmore .
Taylor and Wearing, Redfern .
Employees Messrs. Farmer and Co.
t'oiiimcrnal Banking Co., Milton .
People of Bowral and district.
J. Grandes, Pitt-street ? C
Christesen, Sussex-street as..
T. H. Longshaw, Pitt-street .
D. J. K. Colley, Royal Mint J
W. Callander W
J. Wearne, Glebe .
bank N.S.W.. Newcastle West Branch ..
Commercial Banking Co., Granville .
S. Solomon, Gundagai.
Further amount. Electrical Engineers' Branch, N.S.W. CK. and T. .
Total .'...£78,933 Source: 1909 'DREADNOUGHT FUND.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 26 June, p. 16. , viewed 23 Mar 2024,

Dreadnought Old Boys Association Plaque at corner of Kendall Lane & Argyle Street, The Rocks, 2000

Inscription: "In 1909, as a contribution to naval defence of the Empire a fund was established for New South Wales to purchase a Dreadnought Cruiser for  the Royal Navy.

When the plan was abandoned on the formation of the Royal Australian Navy, part of the fund was used to bring British youths to this country under a farm apprenticeship program known as "The Dreadnought Scheme."

The first contingent arrived on the S.S.Tanui in April 1911

This plaque commemorates the 5595 Dreadnought Boys who passed this way on their arrival in Sydney between 1911 and 1939, and their  contribution to Australia`s Development.

Many served and some died in two World Wars. Recruited for farm labour, they branched into a wide range of occupations. A number ultimately  achieved community leadership and distinction. Despite early adversities we who now survive recall our youthful venture with satisfaction, and here  record complete affiliation with our adopted land.  28th April 1984"

History:  "The plaque commemorates the 5595 British boys brought to Australia under a farm apprenticeship programme known as "The Dreadnought Scheme" and their contribution to Australia`s development. In 1903, the new Commonwealth of Australia agreed to pay £200,000 per year towards the expenses of the Imperial Squadron in the Pacific, but had no special naval vessels of its own" "...
Former ABC Managing Director "Activist and businessman, David Hill (b.1946), migrated to Australia at the age of twelve as part of Britain’s child migration scheme."..
Allen Arthur Taylor: Born 1864 Died 1940 "Allen Arthur Bate, later changed to Taylor, was born at Wagga Wagga, NSW, on 13 May 1864, the fourth child of John Bate, a Worcestershire bricklayer, and his wife Martha Jane, nee King...On 19 June 1886 at a Presbyterian church [now Hall before the sandstone church with steeple was built] in Annandale, Sydney, he married Adela Mary (1865-1924), the daughter of coach proprietor Robert Elliott and his wife Lucy Ann, nee Sanders, and had one son...He was a founder and chairman of the Dreadnought Trust Fund (1926-31) sponsoring the immigration of British boys for rural work in NSW. ..

Annandale Borough 1894-1949

A petition from 2/3 of the electors was gazetted (1892 'DIVISION OF THE MUNICIPAL DISTRICT OF LEICHHARDT—PETITION FOR.', New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), 12 December, p. 9747. , viewed 28 Feb 2017, It was proposed that the East Ward of the Municipality of Leichhardt become the separate Borough of Annandale. The new borough was Gazetted on 17 June, 1893 (2) The signatories argued that the ward received too little benefit from their rates and were assigned too great a share of the liabilities, that the population of approximately 5,000 people and the area of 320 acres, the value of the property (£44,000) and the potential rateable value of £2,200 p.a. were sufficient to support a separate borough. (3) - State Records Archives

"At a meeting of the council of the Borough of Annandale, held hist night in the Council Chambers. Trafalgar-street, the application of Mr. W. Fairley was accepted for the position of working overseer. Five applications were received." 1894 'The Labor Members' Manifesto.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 24 April, p. 3, viewed 9 December, 2013,

Selected Minutes of the Annandale Borough 1894-1923

Source: Minute Books [Municipality of Annandale 14 Feb 1894 - 23 Dec 1948 (State Records NSW)

photographs of aldermen of Annandale Borough

John Young MayorFirst Meeting of the Borough of Annandale held in the Trafalgar Street School Hall on Wednesday ...same evening 14th February 1894 at 8pm....

Allen Taylor - Annandale's Second Mayor

...February 12th, 1896...Election of Mayor...
For Ald John Young Aldermen Ferris, Wells, Francis , Ridge, Gutherie and Young 6
For Ald Allan Taylor Aldermen Smith, Broad, Taylor, Horton and Dwyer 5
...election of works and sanitary committee....Ferris, Taylor Ridge and Dwyer....Finance committee Gutherie, Broad,Wells, Francis...amendment that [Finance] committee exist of whole of council was lost. Lighting laws committee general purposes committee...

Dreadnought-class submarine

Guardian Newspaper Tue 14 Mar 2023: What is the Aukus submarine deal and what does it mean? – the key facts