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Sailors on board SS AUTOLYCUS depart Sydney for Portsmouth

Date: 13 May 1939
Medium: Emulsion on nitrate film.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Nitrate negative
Object No: 00021061
Place Manufactured:Sydney
Related Place:Circular Quay,

User Terms

    This image depicts Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ratings in 'square rig' and chief petty officers standing on the forecastle and forward well deck of SS AUTOLYCUS. The head and shoulders of family and friends can be seen standing on the wharf.

    At 11am on 13 May 1939, 234 RAN ratings and officers commissioned for HMAS PERTH departed Sydney on board the Blue Funnel steamer, SS AUTOLYCUS. The vessel called at Hobart and Melbourne to pick up more men before arriving in Portsmouth, United Kingdom on 29 June. It had carried 500 men. One officer described the conditions on board the over-packed vessel, saying that despite the 'grim quarters' many of the sailors 'accepted the situation' and maintained a high morale in light of the fact that for some, it was their first voyage out to sea.
    SignificanceThe Samuel J Hood photographic collection records an extensive range of maritime activity on Sydney Harbour, including sail and steam ships, crew portraits, crews at work, ship interiors, stevedores loading and unloading cargo, port scenes, pleasure boats and harbourside social activities from the 1890s through to the 1950s. They are also highly competent artistic studies and views - Hood was regarded as an important figure in early Australian photojournalism. Hood’s maritime photographs are one of the most significant collections of such work in Australia.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Sailors on board SS AUTOLYCUS depart Sydney for Portsmouth

    Assigned title: Departure of the AUTOLYCUS for England

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