Search the Collection
Advanced Search
Image Not Available

Port side view of HMS RENOWN in Sydney Harbour

Date: c 1920
Overall: 89 x 152 mm
Medium: Silver gelatin print on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Piers Jones
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00017128
Place Manufactured:Australia
Related Place:Sydney Harbour, Darling Point,

User Terms

    This photograph depicts a broadside port view of the battle cruiser HMS RENOWN in Sydney Harbour, possibly off Darling Point. Crew of the ship are lined up on the deck at the bow and stern. The ship visited Sydney with the Prince of Wales in May 1920.
    SignificanceThe Harry Brisbane Williams photographic collection provides an interesting record of a range of activities on Sydney Harbour from the 1890s into the 1920s. An enthusiastic amateur boater and photographer, Williams’ photographs capture a range of subjects – pleasure cruising on his motor launch on the Lane Cove River, yachting on Sydney Harbour, foreshore social activities, surf lifesaving, cargo ships, battle cruisers of the United States fleet, model yachting and the shipbuilding industry. In particular, they are a wonderful personal record of the new phenomenon of leisure motor boating in the early twentieth century.
    HistoryHarry (Henry) Brisbane Williams was born in 1869 in Brisbane, Queensland, and later lived in Balmain and Point Piper - both on Sydney Harbour. Williams was an enthusiastic amateur boater, and took his motor launch SABLE on numerous excursions around Sydney Harbour and the Lane Cove River. He was the photographer for the Water Board of New South Wales, and was a keen amateur artist - becoming friends with a number of prominent Sydney artists including Alfred Coffey.

    Williams' photographs held in the museum's collection date from the 1890s into the 1950s. His images depict a range of vessels, from passenger ships, cargo ships, Royal Australian Navy vessels, United States Navy battle cruisers, yachts, motor launches, sailing ships, tugboats, ferries, row boats and even paddle steamers on the Darling and Murray Rivers. Williams captures a range of social activities, including Fleet Week celebrations, rowing sculls, surf life saving, picnics, pleasure cruising and swimming. He also photographed a range of ship building activities, dry docks, slip ways and waterfront construction.

    HRH Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) was the eldest son of King George V and undertook 16 Royal Tours on behalf of his father to various parts of the British Empire between 1919 and 1935.

    The visit of the Prince to Australia in 1920 reaffirmed the ties between Australia and Britain, and conveyed thanks to Britain's allies for their service and loyalty during World War I.

    In Australia the tour started in late May and concluded in mid-July with the Prince visiting every state. Public holidays were declared, receptions and balls held, foundation stones laid, memorials unveiled and thousands of hands shaked.

    The Royal Yacht chosen to convey the Prince on this journey was in fact a battlecruiser, HMS RENOWN. In 1927 she also carried the Duke and Duchess of York on their cruise to Australia and New Zealand.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Port side view of HMS RENOWN in Sydney Harbour

    Assigned title: Battle cruiser HMS RENOWN in Sydney Harbour

    Related People

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.