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ANMM Collection Reproduced courtesy of Donald Bastock

HMS CURACOA

Date: c 1988
Dimensions:
Overall: 255 x 355 mm, 0.05 kg
Medium: Oil on composite board
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from John Bastock
Object Copyright: © Donald Bastock
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00016901
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    Description
    HMS CURACOA, flagship of the Australia Station, carries the broad pennant of Commodore Sir William S Wiseman. CURACOA played a key role supplying troop reinforcements to Waikato River, New Zealand during the Maori Wars in 1863.
    SignificanceJohn Bastock's painting portrays HMS CURACOA (1863-1866) the fourth flagship of the Australia Station. CURACOA played an important role in British operations in the colony of New Zealand.
    HistoryCURACOA was a wooden screw frigate launched at Pembroke on 13 April 1854. It was the only steam frigate to be active on the Australia Station and commenced its duties on 20 April 1863. CURACOA was used for operations in New Zealand during the Maori Wars and undertook a major cruise in the Pacific in 1864 which was especially significant for the natural history data collected. The ship sailed from Sydney under the command of Sir William Wiseman to display the British flag in the different archipelagoes of the Western Pacific. Visits were made to Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, and Niue or Savage Island; Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji; the New Hebrides, Santa Cruz, and Solomon Islands; New Caledonia; and the Loyalty Islands.
    After this major voyage CURACOA conducted routine operational work before returning to England in 1866. The vessel was broken up in 1869.

    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 British territories of New Zealand, Chatham Island, New Hebrides, Loyalty Islands, Fiji and Australia.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: HMS CURACOA

    Assigned title: HMS CURACOA

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