Sydney Emden Medal, consisting of an original circulated 1874 Mexican 8 Reales coin with a suspension attached for wearing, engraved by W. Kerr of Sydney.
About 6,429 Mexican 8 Reales Silver Dollars were recovered from the captured SMS Emden, 1,000 were used to create the Sydney Emden medals to be awarded to the crew of HMAS Sydney.
This interesting and very rare medal was awarded to the crew of Her Majesty’s Australian Ship Sydney, for their part in the Battle of Cocos on 9th November 1914, when HMAS Sydney took down the formidable German ship SMS Emden.
SMS Emden had been an Independent Raider causing a massive amount of damage in the early parts of WW1 having snook into the Bay of Bengal and bombarded Madras, in only 3 months of the war the Emden had destroyed 2 Entente Warships and sank or captured 16 British Steamers and 1 Russian Merhcant Ship, totalling 70,825 Gross Register Tons. With another 4 British ships being captured and released.
Their reign of terror came to an end marking the very first Naval Victory of the war for the Royal Australian Navy, the result of the clashing of the 2 ships, amounted to the HMAS Sydney receiving 16 hits killing 3 of her crew with 13 wounded. However the bombardment on SMS Emden was overwhelming, as the Sydney expended over 670 rounds of ammunition, it claimed at least 100 hits, the Emden suffered so much damage the Captain was forced to Beach the ship at North Keeling Island, having killed 1/3 of the crew, the remaining crew were mostly captured, apart from a small party under Hellmuth von Mucke who had been watching the battle having been sent ashore on Direction Island before the battle on a mission and were forced to watch their ship sink, they managed to sneak away and sail to Constantinople.