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ANMM Collection Reproduced courtesy of Donald Bastock


Date: c 1988
Overall: 255 x 356 mm, 0.05 kg
Medium: Oil on composite board
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from John Bastock
Object Copyright: © Donald Bastock
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00016908
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    The protected class cruiser HMS ROYAL ARTHUR was flagship of the Australia Station during the formation of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901. By the conclusion of ROYAL ARTHUR's service in 1904 the Australia Station ships were increasingly associated with the identity of Australia over Britain. These ships including ROYAL ARTHUR generated a great sense of national pride.
    SignificanceThis painting represents HMS ROYAL ARTHUR's service on the Australia Station at the turn of the 20th century. It served during a significant period in Australian naval and political history when the British colony became a Commonwealth country.
    HistoryHMS ROYAL ARTHUR was launched on 26 February 1891 and received its first commission as flagship of the Pacific Station in 1893-1896. In 1897 the cruiser was placed on the Australia Station to relieve HMS ORLANDO. Highlights of ROYAL ARTHUR's service included carrying the first Governor-General Lord Hopetoun on his first visit to Sydney on 15 December 1900 and acting as an escort during the Duke and Duchess of York's visit to Australasia in 1901. The ship was also in service on 1 January 1900 when Australia celebrated Federation.

    ROYAL ARTHUR's Australian service ended on 6 April 1904 and it began the return journey to England. In 1905 the cruiser was commissioned to the West Indies Station and in 1909 operated in the Home Fleet and Training Squadron. After service in World War I as a guard ship and submarine depot ship, ROYAL ARTHUR was broken up some time after August 1921.

    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 station included the territories of New Zealand, Chatham Island, New Hebrides, Loyalty Islands, Fiji and Australia. By 1903 the boundaries were increased to include New Guinea, the Caroline and Marshall Islands and the Society Islands.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: HMS ROYAL ARTHUR

    Assigned title: HMS ROYAL ARTHUR

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