The Home Fleet escorts the Royal Squadron. May 1939
(MP427). Frank Watson Wood (1862-1953). watercolour signed and dated 1939 and annotated "The Royal Squadron Passing through the Home Fleet - 6 May 1939".
10 x 29 ins (25 x 74 cms (approx)
The scene here painted by Frank Watson Wood shows RMS EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA (Captain Archibald Meikle MN) wearing the Royal Standard and with the Royal Squadron in company - the light cruisers HMS SOUTHAMPTON (Captain F W Jeans RN) flying the flag of Vice Admiral G F B Edward -Collins CB CVO, and HMS GLASGOW (Captain C G B Colthart RN).
The Royal Squadron is being given a send-off by the Home Fleet as it starts its journey to Canada and is painted here steaming through the lines of represenatives of the Home Fleet (Admiral Sir Charles Forbes KCB DSO) wearing his flag in the battleship HMS NELSON (Captain A U Willis DSO RN). Astern of EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA is the battle cruiser HMS REPULSE (Captain E J Spooner DSO RN) who, but for the looming threat of war which required her to remain in home waters, was to have carried the King and Queen on their voyage to Canada and the USA: the Canadian Pacific liner was used instead but REPULSE is clearly being given the place of honour here, tucked in closely behind the Monarch.
Astern of NELSON is the Tribal Class destroyer HMS SOMALI (Captain R S G Nicholson DSC RN, Capt (D) 6); and astern of her is HMS ARK ROYAL (Captain J A Power RN). Out on the fleet flagship's starboard beam is HMS SOUTHAMPTON of the Royal Squadron and on her starboard beam, the light cruiser HMS AURORA (Captain L H K Hamilton DSO RN) wearing the flag of Rear Admiral R H C Hallifax CBE (Rear Admiral Commanding Home Fleet Destroyer Flotillas). Other paintings of this visit of the King and Queen to Canada and the USA are to be found eleswhere on this website and on www.maritimeprints.com. (EMPRESS of AUSTRALIA, Canada, Nova Scotia, New York, HMS SOUTHAMPTON, HMS GLASGOW are all keywords to be entered whilst searching these two websites).