HMS 'Audacious' sinking off Loch Swilly after striking a mine, 27 October 1914
A starboard bow view of HMS 'Audacious' sinking after striking a mine off Tory Island, Loch Swilly, at 08.45 on 27 October 1914. The mine exploded under the port wing engine room, where there was no protective bulkhead, which led to the slow progressive flooding of the ship. By 09.45 she had a 9 degree list to port and by 10.00 the engines had stopped. All non-essential crew were removed by 14.00. During this episode she was protected by a screen of destroyers, visible off the port bow of 'Audacious', and astern. 'Audacious' was taken in tow by RMS 'Olympic' (1911), but the attempt was short-lived. At 17.00 all but 50 men were evacuated, and the battleship was finally abandoned at 18.15. The loss of Audacious remained an official secret until three days after the war had ended. It is likely, therefore, that Wyllie made this watercolour some time after the event depicted. Wyllie had made an earlier watercolour of Audacious in dock (PAF1848) as a study for the leading ship in his painting Masters of the Seas, which he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1915 (BHC4167).
William Lionel Wyllie
Original size: 306 mm x 443 mm
- Image reference: PW1831
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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