• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7660

    Maritime Art

    29 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 92

    Montague Dawson, R.M.S.A., F.R.S.A., (1895-1973)

    The stricken merchantman Ovingdean Grange under tow

    Price Realised  


    Montague Dawson, R.M.S.A., F.R.S.A., (1895-1973)
    The stricken merchantman Ovingdean Grange under tow
    signed 'Montague Dawson' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    18 x 26¼ in. (46 x 66.5 cm.)

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    Although the ship depicted here is unnamed, she has been identified - from her highly distinctive funnel marking of a white Maltese cross on a red ground - as the Ovingdean Grange. Built for the Ministry of War Transport by Lithgows at Port Glasgow, she was launched on 30th June 1942 and originally carried the name of Empire Buckler. However, when she was completed and handed over to Houlder Brothers (of London) to manage, they renamed her Ovingdean Grange to fit in with the rest of their fleet which all bore the same 'Grange' suffix. Registered at 7,045 tons gross (4,906 net), she measured 448 feet in length with a 56 foot beam and was engined by Rowans of Glasgow with a service speed of 12 knots

    On 25th October 1942, she sailed from Loch Ewe as part of Convoy KMS 2 destined for Operation Torch, the allied invasion of North Africa. After discharging her cargo, she left Algiers on 5th December in the homeward-bound Convoy MKS 3X but lost her propeller on the 14th and drifted helplessly for several days before being taken in tow by salvage tugs who brought her safely into Swansea on 20th December. Surviving the war, she was purchased by Houlders in 1946 and eventually sold by them in 1959. After two changes of name under new owners, she was finally wrecked off Oman in December 1965.

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