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Date: 1941
Overall: 106 x 81.5 x 1 mm, 25.98 g
Medium: Emulsion on glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Mike Veness
Object Name: Glass plate negative
Object No: 00045045

User Terms

    During World War II passenger ships were often commissioned as transports to carry troops to the conflict. On 9 April 1941 the troop transports QUEEN ELIZABETH and QUEEN MARY crossed paths off Sydney Harbour for the first time.
    SignificanceThis photograph records the presence of both Cunard Line ships together and the moment the passed each other at Sydney Heads on 9 April 1941.
    HistoryThe photo was taken when the two ships were in a convoy, so it could be anywhere between Sydney and Egypt, but possibly off the Australian coast, and the ship it was taken from could be anything, even a warship. Aquitania was involved in seven convoys from Australia, but only one of those include both Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, Convoy 11A that left in July 1941. I have not seen this photo before so am not aware if anyone has said who took it and where. However, it appears that Aquitania is painted grey, whereas when she was carrying troops away from Australia in 1940-42 she always had a black hull. This seems to suggest this photo could have been taken during the final stages of Operation Pamphlet in February 1943, in which Aquitania, Queen Mary, Ile de France and Nieuw Amsterdam, escorted by Queen of Bermuda, brought the famous 9th Division home to Australia from Egypt. On the voyage from Egypt to Fremantle the four ships were in line abreast, with Aquitania on the starboard wing, then Ile de France, Queen Mary and Nieuw Amsterdam on the port side. It is possible this arrangement was changed for the final sector from Fremantle to Sydney.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Passenger liners converted into troopships in Australian waters

    Web title: RMS QUEEN MARY and AQUITANIA off Sydney Heads

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