ProvenanceJohn Ward arrived in South Australia in 1839 and married Jane Best in Trinity Church, Adelaide, 1840. He captained trading vessels on the intra-state Australian routes in the mid-19th century and became a well-known local ship master after helping to survey the Spencer Gulf coast and Eyre Peninsula. Ward joined a syndicate with a group of local wealthy South Australians led by Thomas Elder which hoped to speed up the wool trade between South Australia and Britain and capitalise on the emerging steam vessel trade. In 1855 the syndicate sent Ward to Britain to supervise the building of the ‘SS Marion’, the first steamship wholly owned by South Australians. Men from this syndicate would go on to form the Adelaide Steamship Company in 1875.
Ward later captained the SS 'Marion' which worked the Adelaide to Port Lincoln route (he was presented with a lovely silver goblet by the people of Port Lincoln in appreciation of his service, 25 October 1858). He also oversaw the building of the SS 'Lubra’ in Britain and returned with the ship to Port Adelaide in 1862.
On 10 July 1862 the SS 'Marion' ran aground on Cape Spencer near the Althorpe Islands, South Australia. The crew made it ashore and were later rescued by Ward who was at that time captain of the SS 'Lubra'.
The painting belonged to Alan Hansford Walker (d.2002) of Britain who always wanted it to come to the South Australian Maritime Museum. His mother was a Ward. The portrait subject is his G.G. Grandfather (Neil Ward).SignificanceCaptain Ward captained the SS 'Marion', the first steamship in South Australia and the SS 'Lubra'. He was also a business partner of Thomas Elder, a well-known Adelaide businessman involved in the wool and shipping industries.DescriptionOil portrait of Captain John Ralph Hansford (sometimes spelt Handsford) Ward. The picture is of the subject, sitting, from middle up. Ward wears a black jacket and waistcoat with a white shirt. He is fair-haired and carries a full beard. The background is in olive green. The face is well executed and reveals a man in his 70s. The artist has signed the bottom left 'J O'Malley/1885' in dark red. He has also signed the back 'By/ J. O'Malley/ Adelaide/ 1885' in large black handwriting. The frame is dark gilt, tiered cove shape with traditional floral/scallop design in the stucco.Creator (person)Creator (organisation)AcknowledgementKeywordspaintingsDate of Creation1888Date of UsageMaterialWood - unspecified
|Textile - canvas
|Art medium - paint, oil
|Art medium - glaze
|Metal - unspecified
|Metal - foil or gilding any metal type Accession NumberHT 2003.0654On DisplaySouth Australian Maritime Museum