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RAN Armament Depot Sydney Annual Report 1928-1929

On the 7th of August 1929 the Armament Supply Officer (ASO), Sydney, submitted his annual report to the Captain Superintendent, Sydney.

In the area of staff, the ASO noted that Mr R.A. Ball had been appointed to the vacancy of Assistant Armament Supply Officer, and was undergoing a 12 months course in England. Mr A. Pritchard had been loaned by the Imperial Government for a period of 15 months commencing on the 5th of January, 1929.

The ASO was concerned at the possibility that the number of ships in commission would be reduced in 1929/30, thus increasing the amount of ammunition to be cared for and maintained.

In the office, the number of ledger headings had increased by 1,000 to 6,800, issue vouchers were up 75 to 775 and receipt vouchers up 141 to 1,273.

In the laboratory, 300 requisitions had been completed in addition to routine examinations, but it had not yet been possible to take in hand the conversion of Cartridges QF 4-inch Mk IV to the new 1 oz igniter design, and very few shell had been fitted with waterproofed fuzes.

In the area of shipping, five consignments of explosives had been received in freight ships at the Rose Bay Powder Anchorage, totalling 722 tons. This comprised mainly the reserves for HMAS Australia and HMAS Canberra, and outfit and reserves for HMAS Albatross. A large portion of the latter, received in SS Port Darwin, was received in a badly damaged condition following transhipment at Port Melbourne.

Ordnance received during the year comprised:

In the area of works, a trot consisting of four buoys had been laid off the west side of Spectacle Island as a bad weather mooring. A brick building to accommodate the forge and reduce the fire risk had also been completed. Dredging had been carried out off the SW of the Island opposite the Gun Pound to enable punts to get closer inshore when lifting guns.

At Newington, the Group VI storehouse had been extended to augment accommodation for primer fitted ammunition, and a police office and search room, with sleeping accommodation for the relieving constable, had been erected at the main entrance. Approval had been given for the installation of electric light, but the work had not commenced.

A major concern was the two outbreaks of fire in the hulk "BIRRIWA" on the 18th and 23rd of July 1928. This hulk was aground off Spectacle Island.

Distinguished visitors were the Minister for Defence, members of the Naval Board and the Captain Superintendent, Sydney.

Read the report for 1935.

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Robert Curran
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