Silver Jubilee Review of the Fleet By King George V.At Spithead July 16, 1935

I recently received from a colleague, Ron Russell, the Editor of the Shropshire Times, the Newsletter of the HMAS Canberra/HMAS Shropshire Association, the Official Programme of the Silver Jubilee Review of the Fleet By King George V at Spithead on July 16, 1935.

Here we are some four years plus before the outbreak of WW2 on Sunday September 3, 1939, with the might of the Royal Navy lined up off Portsmouth for all the world to see, and to take note.

In all, some 157 ships took part, they covered the range of all types of warships. Battleships, Battle Cruisers, ( including HMS Hood, the largest warship afloat world wide, to come to an ignominious end in her fight against the German battleship BISMARCK, in 1941) Aircraft Carriers, Cruisers, Destroyers, Depot ships, Hospital ships, Minesweepers, Sloops, Submarines, Surveying ships, and Training ships.

HMS Hood destroyed by Bismarck in 1941.

The King's Naval service.
King George V as Prince George commenced service with the Royal Navy as a 12 year old Naval Cadet in July 1872, when he joined the TS Britannia. In July of 1879 he was off to join HMS Bacchante, an iron clad screw propelled Corvette, built at Portsmouth, and launched on October 19, 1876, she came in at about 4,070 tons.

Off they went on a cruise to the West Indies and the Mediterranean.

In April of 1881 the ship left for Australia, calling at Albany for repairs, the Prince was able to take in Sydney, thence to Fiji, Japan, Singapore, Colombo, a transit of the Suez Canal, at times the ship spent long periods under sail, u p to 50 or more days.

Prince George was a Sub Lieutenant in June of 1884, and then a Lieutenant in October of the following year.

Number of ships served in.
In all the Prince served in 11 ships of the Royal Navy, 4 of them in command.

As a Commander his Naval service ended, when in 1892 his brother Prince Edward died from pneumonia, and had been engaged to his German cousin Princess Mary of Teck. It was now decided that George would marry her instead, and the wedding took place in 1893.

They had 6 children and King George V died from influenza on January 20, 1936.

King George V in his Coronation Robes.

Names of the ships on review.

Anthony is the oldest name on Review, dating back to 1417.

Royal Sovereign goes back to1485, and Revenge to 1577.

The first time Australia is used in the Royal Navy was in 1886.

The Royal Australian Navy was represented at Spithead by the County Class Cruiser HMAS Australia, a sister ship to HMAS Canberra, sunk at the Battle of Savo Island on August 9, 1942, I served in both these cruisers.

King Alfred the Great ( 871-901 ) made this comment during his 25 year reign.

" There is no advantage in living on an Island, unless your Navy rides in undisputed sway over the waters that surround it."

How very true! The Spithead Review reinforced the majesty of the Royal Navy as far back as 1935.


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