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SS AUSTRALASIAN at sea

Date: 1884 - 1906
Dimensions:
Overall: 610 x 770 x 50 mm, 1.2 kg
Image: 324 x 494 mm
Display Dimensions: 570 x 762 mm
Medium: Oil on canvas, framed
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00004604
Place Manufactured:United Kingdom

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    Description
    Broadside view of the screw steamer SS AUSTRALASIAN at sea. The vessel was built in Glasgow in 1884 and owned by the Aberdeen White Star Line. It was used on the England to Australia route. In 1906 it was sold to the Turkish government and renamed SCHAM.
    SignificanceThis ship portrait highlights the migration of people to Australia during the 19th century. It also represents the use of commercial passenger ships used as troopships in time of war.
    HistorySS AUSTRALASIAN was built in 1884 by Robert Napier & Sons, Glasgow and was 3,650 tons. On her maiden voyage to Australia in 1884 she carried 640 emigrants.

    Along with IBERIA, AUSTRALASIAN was used as a troopship for the NSW contingent sent to the Sudan War in March 1885, in which the colonial soldiers saw minimal action. AUSTRALASIAN returned to transporting passengers between England and Australia, and in 1895 she was modernised with electric lights and refrigerating machinery being fitted. AUSTRALASIAN completed her final voyage to Sydney in 1904 and was sold to the Turkish government in 1906 and renamed SCHAM.

    Until the outbreak of World War I, SCHAM was used as a ferry in the Black Sea and for transporting Turkish troops. She was torpedoed by British submarine E11 in the Sea of Marmara in 1915 and subsequently beached near Constantinople (present day Istanbul). SCHAM was refloated in 1918 to be used as a coal hulk and was finally broken up in 1955.
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