14 September 1914 Able Seaman John Reardon saw service with the fledgling Royal Australian Navy, serving in submarines before losing his life in HMA Submarine AE1 on 14 September 1914. Able Seaman Reardon was the first New Zealander to die on active operations in World War One. He was 23 years of age.

HMA Submarine AE1 went missing while patrolling off the Duke of York Islands, Papua New Guinea. The loss included three officers and 32 ratings. To date, no trace of the submarine has been located.

In 2011, a naval service was held at Garden Island Naval Base in Sydney, where the Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, and the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, unveiled a memorial plaque commemorating the loss of HMAS AE1 exactly 97 years ago.

The AE1 submarine went missing on September 14, 1914. Photo: Australian National Maritime Museum Collection.