FLEET REVIEW 1911 THE CORONATION REVIEW OF KING GEORGE V
(MP057). Frank Watson Wood (1862-1953). Watercolour signed & dated 1912 (and annotated by artist: 'finished Dec 7 1912').
Limited Edition: 250
Standard size: 27.5 x 10.5ins (70 x 26.5cms) approx.
Price Reduced To: £70
165 vessels anchored at Spithead for HM King George V's Coronation Review including 32 battleships and dreadnoughts, 24 armoured cruisers, 8 protected and 4 unarmoured cruisers, 67 destroyers, 12 torpedo boats and 8 submarines. In addition there were 18 foreign warships. The King and Queen arrived at the great naval dockyard of Portsmouth during the morning of Saturday 24 June and as Their Majesties, with The Household in Attendance, embarked in HM Yacht VICTORIA & ALBERT ( Captain N C Palmer MVO ADC RN, Commodore 2nd Class In Charge HM's Yachts), Court Flags were broken. Admiral Sir Arthur Moore, Commander-in-Chief Portsmouth, and Admiral Sir Francis Bridgeman, Commander-in-Chief Home Fleet were received onboard The Royal Yacht by The King and were promoted within the Royal Victorian Order to GCVO; and the 14 other Flag Officers afloat in the Review Lines were also presented to His Majesty. As with Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Review of 1887, ships at the Review had been cautioned to burn Welsh coal only, to reduce smoke and thus collisions.
It was a cool, grey summer's day that threatened rain as The Royal Yacht slipped from South Railway Jetty and made her way serenely out of harbour and towards the waiting armada. To the thunder of a Royal Salute, VICTORIA & ALBERT entered the Review Lines and with ships dressed overall and upper decks manned, The King steamed slowly down the lines of anchored men-of-war, receiving three rousing cheers as each ship was passed. Frank Wood's watercolour shows the Royal Yacht at the right of the picture passing up the starboard side of the French Cuirasse d'Escadre DANTON (Capitaine de Vaisseau J A A M Habert). To starboard of VICTORIA & ALBERT and in the near foreground lies one of the last two pre-dreadnoughts, HMS LORD NELSON (Captain Alfred Grant RN) wearing the Flag of Admiral Sir Arthur Moore GCB GCVO CMG, C-in-C Portsmouth. Over LORD NELSON's quarterdeck in the distance is HMS SUPERB (Captain Herbert Heath MVO ADC RN) and in the centre of the painting - entirely appropriately - is the world's first dreadnought herself, the ship that revolutionised the Royal Navy and then the fleets of the rest of the world, HMS DREADNOUGHT. Commanded here by Captain Sydney Fremantle MVO RN, DREADNOUGHT is wearing the Flag of the Commander-in-Chief Home Fleet, Admiral Sir Francis Bridgeman GCVO KCB. Bridgeman was shortly to be appointed First Sea Lord by Mr Winston Churchill (himself a new First Lord of the Admiralty, following his move from the Home Office to the Admiralty on 24 October 1911).
Astern of DREADNOUGHT lies HMS KING ALFRED (Captain Eustace La T Leatham RN), Flagship of the 3rd Cruiser Squadron (Rear Admiral Richard Farquhar, Rear Admiral Devonport Sub Division, Home Fleet). Continuing from right to left: in the near distance is HMS HIBERNIA (Captain John Luce RN) wearing the Flag of Rear Admiral George Patey, Rear Admiral 2nd Division Home Fleet. (Within 12 months HIBERNIA, fitted with a temporary flight runway over the forrard turret and focsle, was to become the first ship to launch an aircraft whilst underway, when Lieutenant C R Samson RN flew off a Short S38 in Weymouth Bay). Off KING ALFRED's starboard quarter is the cruiser HMS CARNARVON (Captain William Slayter RN): the ship was a participant in the Falklands battle in the winter of 1914 when the loss of Admiral Cradock's squadron at Coronel was so swiftly avenged. Ahead and to starboard of her (and in the foreground) is HMS BRITANNIA (Captain George Ballard RN), to be sunk off Cape Trafalgar 2 days before the Armistice that ended the forthcoming Great War; and to the very left lies HMS DEVONSHIRE (Captain Herbert da Costa RN). This watercolour belongs to a serving Captain, Royal Navy.