A large decommissioned breech loading naval gun from the HMAS Protector has today returned to the location in Semaphore where it previously stood for eighty five years. The gun had been housed on the foreshore but spent the last twenty years at an alternate location in Birkenhead.
The HMAS Protector was a 180 feet flat iron gunboat commissioned by the South Australian Government. Built in the UK, she arrived to Port Adelaide in September 1884 at a cost of £65,000. She has been our state’s only war ship. The ship’s armament included five 6” Breech Loaded guns, one of which was transferred from the Naval Department to the Port Adelaide Town Council in about 1913. For much of the last century it was housed on the foreshore at Semaphore.
In October 1998 Council resolved to house the gun at the TS Adelaide Naval Reserve Cadets Base at the Jenkins Street Birkenhead Naval Depot. The Australian Navy and Lefevre High School collaborated on a restoration project for the gun in 2014.
The gun has been installed today on Semaphore Foreshore, between the jetty and the clock tower, returning it to its more prominent seaside position overlooking the coastline it once protected.