Period: The war years

Admiral Sir Ragnar Colvin Admiral Sir Ragnar Colvin
painted in London, 1944
oil on canvas 91.4 x 71 cm
signed l.r., oil “STELLA/BOWEN”, not dated
Australian War Memorial
acquired under official war art scheme, 1944
ART26262

Admiral Sir Ragnar Colvin (1882–1954) was a long-serving British naval officer who headed the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) at the outbreak of the Second World War.

After a long and illustrious career, Colvin was appointed Chief of Naval Staff to the Royal Australian Navy in 1937. Under his leadership, the RAN expanded its naval fleet and maintained a high profile in Australia’s military affairs.

At the outbreak of war Colvin was an active participant in international planning; however, by 1940 his health was failing and he resigned the following year. Colvin returned to London where he served as Naval Advisor to the Australian High Commission from 1942 to 1944.