HMAS Australia at the surrender of the German fleet in the Firth of Forth

Place Europe: United Kingdom, Scotland, Firth of Forth
Accession Number ART00192
Collection type Art
Measurement Framed: 167.2 cm x 259.2 cm x 13 cm; Unframed: 137.5 x 230 cm; Overall: 39.5 kg
Object type Painting
Physical description oil on linen
Maker Burgess, Arthur
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made 1919-1920
Conflict Period 1910-1919
First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


On 21 November 1918 the German High Seas Fleet of five battle cruisers, nine battleships, seven light cruisers and 49 destroyers surrendered at sea to the British Grand Fleet following the defeat of Germany. By 3pm on that day the German ships were at anchor in the Firth of Forth, Scotland, and in the following days the surrendered vessels were escorted in small groups to Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands. Three ships of the Royal Australian Navy were present on the occasion, the Melbourne, Sydney and Australia, the latter being accorded the honour of leading the capital ships of the British port line. In this work HMAS Australia is shown in the foreground leading HMS New Zealand, Indomitable and Inflexible of the 2nd Battle Cruiser Squadron, followed by the 1st Battle Squadron of which the leading ships are HMS Revenge, Resolution and Royal Sovereign. The destroyer veering off to the left is the Ophelia. In the distance may be seen HMS Cardiff, followed by the long line of German ships, the first being SMS Seydlitz, Moltke, Hindenburg, Derfflinger and Von der Tann. Beyond them again, but not visible in the picture, is the starboard division of the Grand Fleet.