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The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) first submarines (E class), HMAS AE1 and HMAS AE2 were commissioned at Portsmouth, England on 28th February 1914. Both vessels manned by a composite crew of 35 British Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy sailors. The two sister submarines joined the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (ANMEF) assigned to capture the German colonies of New Guinea. Both took part in the capture and surrender of Rabaul on 13th September 1914. On the 14th September 1914 AE1 departed Rabaul to patrol off Cape Gazelle with HMAS Parramatta. At 3:20pm the submarine was last seen by Parramatta to the south west of the Duke of York Islands. 


AE1 was the first unit of the fledging Australian Fleet to be lost – a dreadful blow for the Australian Navy and depriving it of 35 brave men – which at the time was half its submarine force. The remains of AE1 were finally discovered off the coast of Duke of York Islands more than 300 metres below the surface.  The tragedy seems to be the result of a critical ventilation valve in the hull being left partially open prior to diving.


In 1915, AE2 operated patrols in support of the Dardanelles campaign. AE2 became the first Allied submarine to successfully penetrate the seemingly impenetrable Dardanelles strait and enter the Sea of Marmara – with orders to “run amok” inside Turkish territory. On the 30th April 1915 AE2’s encounter with the torpedo boat Sultanhisar saw her suffer damage that forced her to surface – the submarine was scuttled by her crew – all of whom were captured and spent the next 3.5 years in a Turkish prison camp. Memorial sites were erected to remember the sacrifice and courage made by those on the AE1 and AE2 including a stained-glass window addition to the Naval chapel at Garden Island in Sydney in 1933.


This silver set commemorates the bravery of the men who established Australia’s submarine service. Thanks to the diligence of those first submariners, the Royal Australian Navy’s submarine service remains a formidable presence to this day. This set is issue in a strict limited edition of just 499 worldwide and keen interest has already been shown from military enthusiasts and coin collectors alike. Call now to ascertain remaining availability.


  • Remembering Australia’s first ever E class submarines

  • 2 coin silver proof set bring both sister submarines back together

  • Strict limit edition of 499 sets worldwide

  • Bradford Mint exclusive

HMAS AE Silver Dollar Set

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