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Watercolour depicting HMAT CITY OF EXETER entering Suez Canal

Date: 1919 - 1922
Dimensions:
Overall: 395 x 575 mm, 0.05 kg
Medium: Watercolour on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Geoffrey Martin
Object Copyright: © Hallett Robertson Bartlett
Classification:Art
Object Name: Watercolour
Object No: 00027489
Place Manufactured:Sydney
Related Place:Sydney Harbour, Suways, Qanat as-,

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    Description
    This is a water colour painting of the troopship CITY OF EXETER from the Ellerman and Bucknell Line. It was painted by Hallett Batlett as a teenager and the ship proudly displays the flags of the Ellerman and Bucknell Line on the bow. The white and blue flag with the horizontal stripe on the stern is the flag used by Allied ships in World War 1. Many ships of private companies were requisitioned by the British government to use as troop carriers and supply ships during the war.
    SignificanceThis watercolour of CITY OF EXETER is not only an example of Hallett Bartletts early love of ships and planes of the era, it is also reprentative of the 103 ships Ellerman and Bucknell ocean vessels were destroyed in World War 1. The CITY OF EXETER herself was struck by a mine off Bombay and despite taking on water and initially being evacuated, the crew managed to sail her into port safely.



    HistoryIn 1908 the company and ships of the Bucknall Steamship Lines was taken over by Sir John Ellerman and became known as Ellerman and Bucknall Steamship Company, Limited. By 1914 The Ellerman group of companies occupied a leading position in the Mediterranean and Near East routes. As such when war was declared, the British army requisitioned a large part of the Ellerman fleet for use as troop carriers, munitions carriers, or for conversion into armed merchantmen to subsidise the Royal Navy.
    The company suffered significant losses during the war as victims of the relentless German U-boat campaign against commercial and supply shipping.
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