The National ANZAC Centre , Albany.
“On November 1, 1914, 30,000 young Australians and New Zealanders departed from Albany in Western Australia on board a flotilla of ships bound for Egypt and the battlefields of the Great War. The ANZAC legend wasn’t even born as the 38 ships steamed out of the whaling port bound for Alexandria in Egypt, but just six months later on April 25, 1915 that legend would be forged on the beaches and rocky hillsides of the Turkish coast at a place called Gallipoli. The convoy carrying the first Australian Imperial Force and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force included the cruisers HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Sydney as well as the Royal Navy’s HMS Minotaur. It was joined at sea two days later by ships carrying troops from WA and South Australia under escort by the Japanese cruiser HIJMS Ibuki.” The Centenary of ANZAC . At the time of WW1 Japan was an ally of Britain, they did not enter the war but the Japanese Navy were called upon to escort and protect the allied fleets. “The troopships might be ready for embarkation but with the whereabouts of several German warships uncertain, Imperial authorities remained unwilling to risk their passage across the Indian Ocean until a sufficiently powerful naval escort could be assembled.” Australian Navy. The troop ships were converted merchant ships and passenger liners, so had no way to defend themselves. Femantle was suggested for the first convoy to assemble, refuel and take on supplies. However, Albany was eventually chosen because its large safe harbour was able to accommodate many ships.