'Emden beached and done for', 9 November 1914

Place Oceans: Indian Ocean, Cocos Keeling Islands
Accession Number ART00191
Collection type Art
Measurement Framed: 197.5 x 284 cm x 15 cm x 50.5 kg; Unframed: 168.5 cm x 254.5 cm
Object type Painting
Physical description oil on canvas
Maker Burgess, Arthur
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made 1920
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


For the title of this painting the artist chose the text of the signal from HMAS Sydney to HMS Minotaur announcing victory in the Royal Australian Navy's first fight. As the convoy carrying the first Australian and New Zealand troops overseas passed within eighty kilometers of the Cocos Islands, a signal was received reporting a strange warship approaching the cable station there. HMAS Sydney was immediately detached from her escort duties with the convoy and sped off towards the islands, encountering the German raider cruiser SMS Emden. In the engagement that followed the Sydney sustained some early damage and casualties, but the fire so battered and crippled the German ship that Captain von Muller ran the Emden ashore on North Keeling Island.