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Reproduced courtesy of the Allcot Trust


Date: 1919
Overall: 375 x 475 x 25 mm, 135 g
Sight: 220 x 324 mm
Medium: Watercolour on board, timber and glass frame.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Norma Dorothy Free Bequest
Object Copyright: © Allcot Trust
Object Name: watercolour
Object No: 00049107

User Terms

    A watercolour painting of HMAT BENALLA by John Allcot in 1919. HMAT BENALLA was a troopship in World War 1 and was part of the first convoy of ships to depart Australia in 1914.
    SignificanceJohn Allcot became a well known maritime artist and at a time of "great change in the shipping industry, he specialized in nostalgic views of sailing ships and steamers, and found an appreciative market of ship-owners, captains, crews and their families" (Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 13, Fletcher, D., Australian National University, 1993).
    HistoryThe HMAT BENALLA was owned by the P&O SN Co, London, and was until 6 August 1917. She was part of the first convoy of the Australian and New Zealand Imperial Expeditionary Forces leaving Australia1 November 1914 from King Georges Sound, Western Australia.
    This was the first stage in a great adventure for most troops a local paper enthusiastically wrote of the HMAT BENALLA, "The "BENALLA"' A24 on which some of our men are leaving, originally belonged to the P & 0 branch service. Carpenters and painters have been working almost day and night turning it into a troopship. Everything is arranged for the comfort of the men, whose quarters are spotlessly clean and airy, with good bathrooms and lavatories attached. The officers occupy the ordinary cabins, which have been all done up, but the men sleep in hammocks slung 12 in a row over their mess tables and in the morning these are rolled up and put away. The large kitchens are interesting, look most business-like with their huge saucepans and boilers full of food, and they both have excellent cooks at the head of affairs" (The Mildura Cultivator, 10 October 1914).

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: HMT BENALLA

    Collection title: Material from the bequest of Norma Dorothy Free: Ephemera, telescope, paintings

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