Australia's first gun

On the day of the declaration of war, a German trading ship SMS Pfalz tried to leave Port Phillip. A warning shot at Queenscliff turned it around. These shots were the first fired by Allied forces in World War I. The captain and crew of the German ship were sent to internment camps where they remained for the war. The Pfalz was deemed a ‘prize' of the war and along with many other enemy vessels. Recommissioned as an Australian troopship, in a few months, the Pfalz (now the HMAT Boorara), would be delivering supplies and reinforcements to the 2nd Light Horse Regiment at Gallipoli.


The Herald, 5 August 1914, p12.


From the State Library of Victoria's Newspapers collection.

Early reactions to war