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ANMM Collection Reproduced courtesy of Donald Bastock


Date: c 1988
Overall: 254 x 357 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: 00016910
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    The first-class protected cruiser HMS POWERFUL was the flagship of the Royal Navy's Australia Station from 1905-1915 and was one of the largest and first four-funnelled cruisers to be built for the Royal Navy. At the time of its commission POWERFUL was the technical pinnacle in naval ship design however its sides were largely unprotected and vulnerable to attack.
    SignificanceThis painting represents HMS POWERFUL (1905-1915) the largest protected cruiser to be constructed by the Royal Navy. This imposing ship was warmly received by the Australian public and generated much pride during a period when Australia's national identity was growing.
    HistoryHMS POWERFUL was built by Vickers, Sons and Maxim at Barrow-in-Furness. POWERFUL's first commission was to the China Station in 1897 and then in 1899 it was diverted to the Boer War operations in South Africa transporting ammunition. POWERFUL returned to England in 1902 and was refitted with four additional guns. In 1905 the cruiser was sent to the Australia Station under the flag of Vice Admiral Sir Wilmot H Fawkes and arrived on 16 December. As a large protected cruiser POWERFUL was popular with Australian and New Zealand ports, often being used as a venue for social activities and receptions.

    In 1908 POWERFUL was the primary vessel welcoming the ships of the American Great White Fleet tour to Sydney and provided a centre for receptions, ceremonies and social events. In 1911 the cruiser's service on the Australia Station was finalised and POWERFUL returned to England. Back in the United Kingdom POWERFUL was involved in training and operations in World War I, before being scrapped in 1929.

    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 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. By 1903 the boundaries were increased to include New Guinea, Caroline and Marshall Islands and the Society Islands.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: HMS POWERFUL

    Assigned title: HMS POWERFUL

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