The watch that never ends

Place Oceans: Atlantic Ocean, North Sea
Accession Number ART20005
Collection type Art
Measurement Framed: 98.5 x 124.7 cm x 11.5 cm; Unframed: 73.4 cm x 100 cm; Framed: 24.5 kg
Object type Painting
Physical description oil on canvas
Maker Burgess, Arthur
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made c.1920
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Unlicensed copyright


Depicts a town class light cruiser most likely to be the ship HMAS Sydney on patrol in the North Sea. The painting possibly depicts the flight of an airplane from an Australian warship, hence the Sopwith airplane in the foreground of the painting.
In August 1917 Sydney commenced a three month refit at Chatham, where she was fitted with the first revolving aircraft launching platform to be installed in a warship. On arrival at Scapa Flow (Orkney Islands, Scotland) in December 1917, her commanding officer, Captain Dumaresq, borrowed a Sopwith Pup then being operated from a fixed platform on the cruiser 'Dublin' for use onboard Sydney. On 8 December 1917 the aircraft was launched successfully from Sydney's platform in the fixed position. It was the first aircraft to take off from an Australian warship. Nine days later the Pup flew off the platform turned into the wind; the first time any aircraft had been launched from such a platform in the revolved position.

Related information