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ANMM Collection Reproduced courtesy of Donald Bastock


Date: c 1988
Overall: 380 x 505 mm, 0.1 kg
Medium: Oil on composite board
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from John Bastock
Object Copyright: © Donald Bastock
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00016902
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    The flagship HMS CHALLENGER is depicted anchored in Port Jackson near HMS GALATEA. The wooden screw corvette CHALLENGER is flying the pennant of Commodore Rochfort Maguire and shown during the visit of Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh to Australia in command of GALATEA in 1867-1869.
    SignificanceThis painting represents HMS CHALLENGER (1866-1870) one of the more well known flagships of the Australia Station. It demonstrates the role of British naval vessels in protecting the Australian colony.
    HistoryHMS CHALLENGER was a spar-deck wooden screw corvette and one of three of the same class, the others being CLIO and RACOON. It was launched at Woolwich on 13 February 1858 and occupied the port of Veracruz, Mexico before being placed on the Australia Station in May 1866.

    While stationed as flagship in Australia CHALLENGER conducted operations in Fiji and New Zealand. One noteworthy event was its role as flagship during the world tour of HRH Prince Alfred the Duke of Edinburgh who visited Australia in 1867-1868. CHALLENGER accompanied Prince Alfred in command of HMS GALATEA on his tour to all the major ports in Australia and New Zealand.

    CHALLENGER finished its service on the Australia station in 1870 and returned to England to conduct Britain's first oceanographic survey expedition. Between 1872 and 1876 the ship took magnetic observations, chemical tests and scientific studies of all the world's oceans. After returning to England in 1876 CHALLENGER was deemed unseaworthy and used as a storage hulk at Chatham.

    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

    Web title: HMS CHALLENGER

    Assigned title: HMS CHALLENGER

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