H.M.S. Britannia passing the light-buoy at dusk signed 'A.B. Cull', inscribed and dated 1922 (lower left) watercolour 17 x 27.7cm (6 11/16 x 10 7/8in).
H.M.S. Britannia was one of the eight 'King Edward VII' class battleships first ordered in 1901. Laid down at Portsmouth in February 1904, launched in December the same year and completed in September 1906, Britannia displaced 17,100 tons (deep loaded) and measured 454 feet in length with a 78 foot beam. Mounting a main armament of 4-12in. and 4-9.2in. guns, she was engined by Humphreys & Tennant and had a cruising speed of 18.5 knots. First commissioned into the Atlantic Fleet, after various transfers she was part of the 3rd Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet when War was declared in August 1914. After over four years of continuous active service, she was torpedoed off Cape Trafalgar on 9th November 1918 a mere two days before the Armistice by the German submarine UB50 and sank three hours later, her sinking being the last naval loss of the Great War.