The South Australian Maritime Museum preserves the oldest nautical collection in Australia. In 1872 the Port Adelaide Institute began a museum collection to complement its library and its educational and social programs. That collection grew over the following century reflecting the seafarers and the ships that visited Port Adelaide. It is now held in trust at the South Australian Maritime Museum.

The Maritime Museum’s collections ranges from the Port Adelaide Lighthouse that was first lit in 1869 to a plaque that explorer Matthew Flinders left at Memory Cove in 1802 to mark the loss of eight seafarers. It includes figureheads, nautical instruments, bathing costumes, shipwreck artefacts, paintings, models and vessels.

Our scope is the maritime heritage of South Australia from the coast to inland waters. The collection of over almost 20,000 objects and over 20,000 images is at once a window to the heritage of the local community and to the ships of the world.

China War Medal

British campaign medal approved in 1901 for issue to British and Imperial land and sea troops who fought during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900.

This medal belonged to Daniel Murphy, Chief Petty Officer on the Protector. The China War Medal 1900 was issued in silver to combatants and in bronze to native, namely Indian, bearers drivers and servants. Under Captain Cresswell, the Protector departed Port Adelaide for China in 1900 to to assist the British Navy in quelling the Boxer Rebellion. While uneventful in terms of engaging the enemy, it was the most dramatic episode in the vessel's history. The British Admiralty lauded the efficiency and professionalism of the Protector's crew and the crew received a heroes' welcome on their return to South Australia.

Creator: Royal Navy

Caption: China War Medal , Protector

AccessionNo: HT 1995.0432

diameter mm

Height: 36 mm

Material: Silver, grograin ribbon

Date Created: 1900

Physical Description:
Silver medal presented to Chief Petty Officer Daniel Murphy HMCS Protector, China 1900 Boxer Rebellion. Red and white grosgrain ribbon. Portrait of Queen Victoria on one side, coat of arms and China 1900 inscribed on the other side. Murphy also received Chichester Training Medal (HT95.431(m));

The China War medal was awarded to a member of the crew on South Australia's colonial naval vessel Protector for his service during the Boxer Rebellion, China The Protector's service in China was the pivotal event in its history ,and marked the coming of age for the South Australian navy.

Presented to Chief Petty Officer Daniel Murphy HMCS Protector, The China War Medal 1900 was a British campaign medal approved in 1901 for issue to British and Indian land and sea troops who served during the Boxer Rebellion, between 11 June and 3 December 1900. The medal was donated to the collection by Jack Glasson. Daniel Murphy was his wife's grandfather. Murphy also received Chichester Training Medal. Daniel Murphy was born in1859 and died 1915 . He arrived in Adelaide on the Gateside in 1874. In 1900, in what became known as the Boxer Rebellion (or the Boxer Uprising), a Chinese secret organization called the Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fists led an uprising in northern China against the spread of Western and Japanese influence there. Protector was South Australia's colonial warship and the great pride of the colony. When the Boxer Rebellion broke out the people of South Australia insisted on the British Government accepting the assistance of Protector. Eventually Britain agreed and Protector sailed to China as part of a colonial contingent. By the time they arrived there was very little war action left. The ship departed with great public fanfare and was welcomed home the same way.