Category: Gallery

HMS King George V visits Melbourne

A set of five images of HMS King George V just landed in my mailbox,. As luck would have it, these images complement a set of three I bought a few years earlier but didn’t really tell a story on their own.

The camouflage pattern is an overall light grey and a slightly darker hull, matching the late 1945 pattern (meaning hull/superstructure painted in colours B20/G45), a pattern applied when she was in Australia [1]; the location was easily recognized as Station Pier in Port Melbourne. That puts the (probable) date between the 29th of October and 8th of November, 1945. This is the same period when the famous Allan C. Green photographs were taken, so now we have a collection from the port side well. Although these photographs were not all equally sharp, they do show a very large crowd visiting the ship. A brief search at the Australian War Memorial of HMS King George V’s visit indicates a few more shots taken from similar vantage points and even on board.

[1] Sovereign Hobbies, Royal Navy Camouflage Schemes, HMS King George V

Gallery: HMS Warspite

Bits of interbellum HMS Warspite after her major refit of 1934-1937, many Wright & Logan images that popped up on lamentable, wretched ebay.

After her refit; no pompoms or 4″ guns present yet.

March 1937

March 1937

July 1937

July 1937

July 1937

July 1937

Note the Walrus above the barrel of X-turret.

The launch of HMS Prince of Wales

HMS Prince of Wales was launched at Cammell Laird’s shipyard in Birkenhead on Merseyside  on the 3rd of May 1939. A number of photographs of the launching ceremony is being held by the Wirral Archives service; a number of these images show the keel laying ceremony as previously posted Laying the keel of HMS Prince of Wales.

A brief press clip can be viewed at British Pathe.I find this clip of particular interest as it mentions other nations not keeping to their treaty limits as well as the Royal Navy soon receiving three more ships of the same class Duke of York, Jellicoe and Beaty, (the latter renamed Anson and Howe), plus, the Lion-class battleships Lion and Temeraire. The keels of both of these ships would be laid a few months after HMS Prince of Wales was launched but work on both ships was suspended in 1940.

Please note these images have been reproduced with the permission of both BAE Systems and the Wirral Archives.

“Copyright © 2018 BAE Systems. All Rights Reserved. This work is reproduced with the kind permission of BAE Systems. BAE Systems is a registered trademark of BAE Systems plc”

I would like the express my gratitude to both the Wirral Archival Service and BAE systems both for their assistance and for making it possible to publish these photographs.

You can visit the Wirral Archival Service here:

Note the many cameras in the background recording the launch.

Although some welding was applied in HMS Prince of Wale’s hull construction, most of it was still riveted. The overlapping hull plates were caulked and then a sealing compound called Aranbee was added to vertical raised plate edges (roughly perpendicular to the flow direction), between butt ends, and, in the bow and stern region—outside the region of the main armoured belt—to all raised plate edges in steamwise direction, giving the hull a smooth appearance

In the background the foremast and funnels of RMS Mauretania, launched a year earlier, are visible (not to be confused with RMS Mauretania from 1906).

The Princess Royal prior to her commissioning speech.

(This particular image is from my private collection, not part of the Wirral Archive collection)

HMS Prince of Wales takes her place in Cammell Laird’s wet basin next to the RMS Mauretania.

A particularly striking view. Note that the side armour has not yet been fitted.

This collection contains only one well-known image of HMS Prince of Wales during her fitting-out. HMS King George V was the only of the class to have square scuttles at the Admiral’s dining and day cabin located in the stern. Although the scuttles here are clearly round, six rectangular cut-outs appear to be visible in the hull; the yard considered the square scuttles ‘incapable of watertightness‘. At right, next to the ladder, the storage rack for the night lifebuoy can be seen. This rack was removed before she sailed for her historic Atlantic Charter meeting.

Thrown in for good measure; the launch of HMS King George V. Note: the scuttles of the Admiral’s dining and day cabin are not yet present.

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