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Mitchell and Kenyon: Launch of HMS Dominion (1903)


Main image of Mitchell and Kenyon: Launch of HMS Dominion (1903)
Mitchell and Kenyon 225-7: Royal Visit to Barrow and Launch of H.M.S. 'Dominion'
35mm, black and white, silent, 277 feet total
Production CompanyMitchell and Kenyon
Commissioned byRino Pepi

The HMS Dominion is launched at Barrow-in-Furness, after which the visiting dignitaries look around the town.

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Named after the British Empire's Dominion of Canada, this King Edward VII-class battleship was launched on the 25 August 1903 at Barrow-in-Furness. Any spectators attending the launch are absent from this film, which opens with a partial view of the stern; the funnelled ship visible in the open water is possibly the tug used to help guide the ship once she was launched. HMS Dominion then slides past the camera as the workers standing on her bow wave their hats. From this vantage point, so close to choppy water as the wooden launch stand breaks up and the huge chains unravel, the battleship's noisy plunge into the water is quite exhilarating.

HMS Dominion and her sister ships served in World War I, often by leading at the head of divisions in order to detect mines, or be the first to hit them, thereby protecting the revolutionary (and more valuable) dreadnought battleships which would follow them, and which had come into service just a few years after Dominion was launched. After the war, she was used as a naval accommodation ship, and was eventually scrapped at Preston in 1924.

Shona Barrett

*This film is included in the BFI DVD compilation 'Tales from the Shipyard', with piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne.

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Mitchell and Kenyon 225 (1:50)
Mitchell and Kenyon 226 (1:33)
Mitchell and Kenyon 227 (1:45)
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