Crew of the Chilean naval vessel GENERAL BAQUEDANO preparing for a dive, July 1931
The GENERAL BAQUEDANO moored at East Circular Quay on 16 July 1931 and the crew spent two weeks in Sydney. The ship had previously visited Sydney in 1903. In 1931, the vessel was considered obsolete as a fighting ship, but very useful as a training vessel. In naval categories, GENERAL BAQUEDANO is known as a corvette (in Spanish corbeta), which is defined as a flush-decked ship with one tier of guns, a type replaced by the modern cruiser. Fully-rigged, the vessel was fitted with triple-expansion engines as auxiliary, and had a displacement of 2,330 tons. The visit attracted significant public interest and the daily activities of the Chileans were reported in the Sydney Morning Herald.
The crew played a soccer match against members of the HMAS CANBERRA crew, laid a wreath at the Martin Place cenotaph, displayed their rigging skills while aloft and opened their vessel to the public. Captain Alvarez also hosted visits by the Governor of NSW Sir Phillip Game, the Premier of NSW and the Lord Mayor. The departure of GENERAL BAQUEDANO from Sydney Harbour was quite eventful, with one rating attempting to desert the ship and swim ashore, two sailors being left at the dock and transported to the vessel by police launch and another bewildered Chilean was found wandering the streets. He was later reunited with his fellow sailors in Auckland after transport was arranged on a departing cargo ship.
This photo is part of the Australian National Maritime Museum’s Samuel J. Hood Studio collection. Sam Hood (1872-1953) was a Sydney photographer with a passion for ships. His 60-year career spanned the romantic age of sail and two world wars. The photos in the collection were taken mainly in Sydney and Newcastle during the first half of the 20th century.
The ANMM undertakes research and accepts public comments that enhance the information we hold about images in our collection. This record has been updated accordingly.
Photographer: Samuel J. Hood Studio Collection
Object no. 00034747