Error message

  • Deprecated function: The each() function is deprecated. This message will be suppressed on further calls in book_prev() (line 775 of /home/gunplot/public_html/main/modules/book/book.module).
  • Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in theme_table() (line 1977 of /home/gunplot/public_html/main/includes/
  • Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in theme_table() (line 2040 of /home/gunplot/public_html/main/includes/
  • Deprecated function: implode(): Passing glue string after array is deprecated. Swap the parameters in drupal_get_feeds() (line 394 of /home/gunplot/public_html/main/includes/



(Ex - Clipper, SOBRAON)




Type Of Vessel: Clipper

Registered Tons: 2132.

Burthen: 3500

Length: 317 Feet (overall) 272 feet (between perpendiculars)

Beam: 40 feet

Depth of Hold: 27 feet

Machinery: None

Crew: 65



HMAS TINGIRA - Sydney Harbour


SOBRAON was built by Hall and Co. of Aberdeen, Scotland as a tea clipper to the order of Lowther, Maxton and Co. and launched in November 1866. She was the largest composite (iron and timber) sailing ship ever built and was constructed of solid teak with iron beams and frames. Her lower masts were of wrought iron and her topmasts steel. With all sails set her spread of canvas was just over two acres. She contained 27,000 feet of 9” x 6” teak and some 50,000 feet of 4” x 2” New ZeaIand Kauri.


SOBRAON was not used in the tea trade and from the outset of her career she loaded as one of Devitt and Moore’s monthly line of Packets to Austra in, taking out passengers and general merchandise and returning with passengers, wool and wheat. In 1870 Devitt and Moore’s bought her outright. She made one voyage a year sailing from London in the late September and from Melbourne early in February.


She was chiefly known as a crack passenger clipper arid SOBRAON never formed one of the ‘wool fleet’, whose sailing times from Australia were for most of the ships during the period October to early January. Her accommodation for passengers has been stated to be unrivaled in any sailing ship built, the first class saloon stretching from the stern to the foremast being 200 feet in length. The second class saloon took up the remaining space between decks, excepting 20 feet in the eyes of the ship. She averaged 90 first class and 40 second class passengers on the outward run and a few less when homeward bound.


Between 1867-1871 SOBRAON sailed to Sydney but thereafter from 1872 until 1891, Melbourne was her only Australian port of call, always returning via the Cape of Good Hope, and calling at St Helena.


Her fastest voyage to Sydney was 73 days, and to Melbourne 68 days. On the latter run she passed Cape Otway on the morning of the 60th day out, but was then delayed by light variable winds, which prevented what had pranised to be a 61 day passage. Most of her outward bound passages were between 70 and 78 days but she was never hard driven in the wanner of earlier clippers on the Australia passage. Nevertheless, runs of 300 nautical miles on the outward passage were frequent and she logged 340 nautical miles in twenty-four hours. On one voyage she covered more then 1000 miles in three days, and over 2000 miles in a week of sailing.


On her maiden voyage SOBRAON was commanded by Captain Kyle. On her second outward passage Captain J.A. Elsnslie assumed command and he retained it throughout the remainder of the ship’s sea-going career, a period of 24 years. Under Captain Elmslie she normally carried a crew of 68: 4 officers, 8 apprentices, carpenter, sail]maker, boatswain, engineer, 2 boatswain’s mates, 26 able seamen, 4 ordinary seamen, 16 stewards, 2 stewardesses and 2 cabin boys.


Captain Elmslie commenced his sea-going career in 1842, and for several years served in ships trading to India and China and later on the Australian run in the well known Blackwall frigates, LA HOGUE and PARRAMATTA. Prior to taking ccmmand of the SOBRAON, he was master of the ill-fated COSPATRICK from 1863-1867. He was elected a Younger Brother of Trinity House on 1st September 1868 and would have been later elected an Elder Brother but was debarred because he never served in a steamship.


In 1889 SOBRAON was fortunate to escape destruction by a severe storm north of the Crozet Islands, and was considerably damaged by three day of continuous buffeting by mountainous seas. Twice she caught fire, firstly in 1884 when straw in a hold was accidentally lit by the carpenter, and again in 1888 when coal stored in the fore peak ignited by spontaneous canbust ion. On both occasions tragedy was averted by prompt action by her crew.


On her last voyage fran England SOBRAON arrived in Melbourne in mid December 1891 and after discharging sailed to Sydney where she was taken over by the New South Wales Government for use as a Reformatory Ship.


In 1911 on the formation of the Royal Australian Navy she passed to Commonwealth control for use as a Boys Training Ship. In May of the same year, Commadander Charles L. Lewin, RN, was appointed as the first Carrnander of the ‘Training School. On 18th Novextber 1911 Navy Order No 81 promulgated information that SOBRAON would be renamed TINGIRA.


Boys On Deck - Knot Tying Instruction and Practice


TINGIRA comtmissioned in the Royal Australian Navy on 25th April 1912 and on 1st June the first batch of 37 boys recruited by New South Wales joined for training. These were followed by drafts from other States to complete the first intake of 100 boys. Entry was limited to boys between the ages of 14 and a half and 16 years. Recruits were bound to serve for seven years following their eighteenth birthday. Minimum height standards varied from 4 feet 10 inches at 14 and a half, to 5 feet 2 inches at 16 years, with chest measurenent 29 inches to 32 inches.


The last draft of TINGIRA boys began their training in 1926 and in August that year recruiting of boys ceased. On 30th June 1921 TINGIRA paid off for disposal. In the fifteen years and one month of her RAN commission 2,941 boys were trained in her to take their place as sailors in the Fleet. Tingira remained moored at Garden Island or Rose Bay for her entire naval career.


On 3rd November 1927 TINGIRA was sold to Mr. W.M. Ford of Sydney who took possession and removed the old ship fran Garden island on 22nd November 1927. In 1935 she was purchased by Mr S. Friere of the Southern Hemisphere Company, Roseville, Sydney, for breaking up.


Boys Training was to commence again when 34 Years later in 1960 the RAN opened the Junior Recuit Training Establishment at HMAS LEEUWIN, Frematle, Western Australia. Once again the navy recruited 15 and 16 year old boys for full time, permanent naval service. This continued unitl 1986 when JRTE was finally closed.