Australia's first naval victory during World War One was the Battle of Cocos. This battle was a single-ship action between the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney (under the command of John Glossop) and German light cruiser SMS Emden (commanded by Karl von Müller ) which occurred on November 9, 1914.
The story of the battle was momentous because of its impact in the dawning of the Great War and because of the chivalry of the crews from both sides. The two captains of the Australian and German ships are sometimes called 'the last gentlemen of war.'
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Cocos, The Last Gentlemen of War exhibition will be displayed at the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Fremantle from 7 November 2014 – 26 April 2015.
The exhibition recreates the events of an extraordinary battle in 1914 which resulted to a victory by the Royal Australian Navy in its first-ever wartime engagement. The Last Gentlemen of War tells a story of decency, honour and even humour of both the victor and the vanquished.
The Western Australian Museum pays tribute to two ships, two nations and two extraordinary stories.