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ANMM Collection Reproduced courtesy of Donald Bastock


Date: c 1988
Overall: 305 x 406 mm
Medium: Oil on composite board
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from John Bastock
Object Copyright: © Donald Bastock
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00016905
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    The three-masted wooden screw corvette HMS WOLVERENE flys the pennant of Commodore John C Wilson. As flagship of the Australia Station in 1875-1882 WOLVERENE was present when the Royal Navy's Detached Squadron visited Australia in 1881 on its world tour.
    SignificanceThis painting offers a modern portrayal of the Australia Station flagship HMS WOLVERENE (1875-1882) and the role of British naval ships protecting Australian waterways and coastlines during the 19th century.
    HistoryHMS WOLVERENE (sometimes spelled WOLVERINE) was a wooden screw corvette launched at Woolwich on 29 August 1863. After serving in North America and the West Indies Station in the 1860s, WOLVERINE was commissioned flagship of the Australia Station in 1875. During its service WOLVERENE was present for the Royal Navy's Detached Squadron world cruise in 1881 when the Princes Albert and George undertook naval training. WOLVERENE's service came to an end when it was replaced by HMS NELSON in 1882. At this time it was transferred to the New South Wales Naval Brigade for training purposes - challenging "enemy" ships at Sydney heads and "attacking" coastal and harbour fortifications. The ship was decommissioned in 1892, sold to a private firm in 1893 and with the engines removed was used as a hulk. One of its 8-inch broadside guns is located in Cook Park, Sans Souci, Sydney.

    During the 19th century Britain was preoccupied with increasing its colonial territories and maintaining the empire. The British Royal Navy (RN) at the height of its power divided the world into strategic zones or stations that were manned by a squadron of warships responsible for cruising and protecting British territories and shipping. Until the 1850s Australasia was covered by the East India Station, a vast area that included the Indian Ocean and the waters around Australia. After pressure from the colonial governments of New Zealand and Australia the RN formed the Australia Station as a separate command in 1859.

    The station was established to guard British shipping and trade in the Australasian region and ensure sea routes were open and safe. In 1859 the Australia Station included the territories of New Zealand, Chatham Island, New Hebrides, Loyalty Islands, Fiji and Australia.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: HMS WOLVERENE

    Web title: HMS WOLVERENE

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