Ship model, HMS Sirius

Made by Ingleton, Geoffrey in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1937-1938.

The HMS Sirius played a central role in the establishment of the first European settlement in Australia and arrived at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788. The vessel served as the flagship and was the largest of the 11 ships comprising the First Fleet commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip, who was to be the first Governor of the new colony of New South Wales.

This fine 1:24 scale model of the Sirius was built by retired Royal Australian Navy Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Ingleton, probably Australia...


Ship model, HMS Sirius, armed storeship and flagship of First Fleet, 1:24 scale, timber/ brass, made by Geoffrey Ingleton RAN, for sesquicentenary of arrival of First Fleet, Sydney, NSW, 1937-8

This ship model is a half inch to one foot (1:24) scale model of the HMS Sirius. The vessel has three masts and a single deck and is similar in appearance to a small frigate. Built of English ash planks, the model is fully rigged with masts, yards, tops and full standing rigging. Deck details include carved catheads, cleats and bollards, flush deck, capstan, ship's wheel, windows at stern, gratings, belaying rails and pins, four guns in carriages and twenty four hinged gun ports. Every block in the rigging has brass sheaves and each tackle works. The figurehead is reputed to be that on the Duke of Berwick. The vessel is finished in natural timbers with black and red bulwark planking. It is mounted on six turned columns on the wooden base of its own glass display case.


2000 mm
800 mm
2500 mm


This model of the Sirius was built by retired Royal Australian Navy Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Ingleton. It was commissioned, together with a model of the HMS Supply, by the Australian Sesqui-Centenary Committee to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet at Port Jackson. The models were for display in a procession in Sydney entitled 'Australia's March to Nationhood'.

The ship model represents the appearance of the Sirius (formerly Berwick) at the time of the vessel's voyage to New South Wales in 1788. The model was built from Ingleton's copy of contemporary dockyard plans of the British Admiralty that are now preserved in Britain's National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

Geoffrey Chapman Ingleton was born in Bairnsdale, Victoria, on 14 May 1908. In 1922, at the age of 13, he entered the Royal Australian Naval College at Jervis Bay, NSW and 4 years later joined the HMAS Adelaide as a midshipman. Ingleton's naval training included two years in the United Kingdon, where he developed an interest in nautical research. In 1930, after his return to Australia, he was commissioned as a lieutenant. After service on various naval vessels including the Anzac, Tattoo, Vampire and Cerberus, he was assigned to the hydrographic service and served on HMAS Moresby, surveying waters to the north of Australia. In 1936, at the age of 27, he left the Navy, and in 1938 he was granted the rank of lieutenant commander on the retired list. In civilian life Ingleton worked as a draftsman and an artist. From December 1940 until his retirement in 1973, he was employed in the Hydrographic Office.

In private life Ingleton continued his work as an illustrator, and his etchings of early Sydney life were based on extensive knowledge and research. His interest in naval architecture, which derived from ensuring the technical accuracy of his illustrations, led him to construct ship models.

The major source of Ingleton's artistic work was an extensive private collection of books, manuscripts, maps and paintings focusing on early Australia, maritime exploration and coastal development. Ingleton was a member of the Society for Nautical Research, the Hakluyt Society, the Australian Institute of Navigation and the Royal Institute of Navigation and was a significant contributor to their publications.

Ingleton married Josephine Weekes in 1935 and Nan Furness in 1953. He died in Sydney on 28 February, 1998, aged 89 years.
Ingleton, Geoffrey 1937-1938


Gift of the Australian Sesqui-Centenary Committee, 1938
1 January, 1970

Cite this Object

Ship model, HMS Sirius 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 14 December 2017, <>
{{cite web |url= |title=Ship model, HMS Sirius |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=14 December 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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