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Charles Edward Turner (1883-1965)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Charles Edward Turner (1883-1965)

"The vast, inventive, adaptive, and in the end, all-controlling power of the Royal Navy": The Prime Minister's tribute in his recent broadcast: The various specialised ships of the Royal Navy, from battleships to midget submarines, which for five years have held the seas against the enemy (illustrated)

Details
Charles Edward Turner (1883-1965)
"The vast, inventive, adaptive, and in the end, all-controlling power of the Royal Navy": The Prime Minister's tribute in his recent broadcast: The various specialised ships of the Royal Navy, from battleships to midget submarines, which for five years have held the seas against the enemy (illustrated)
inscribed with annotations throughout
pencil and black chalk, heightened with white, unframed
21 x 29 ¾ in. (53.4 x 75.5 cm.); and similar
(2)
Literature
The Illustrated London News, 26 May 1945.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Lot Essay

"The First Sea Lord, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham, in a speech on May 14, referred to the task of the Royal Navy in the war against Japan, where long and hard battles he said, still await. “The Navy’s job is therefore far from done,” said the Admiral, “and any rejoicing at our European victory must be tempered with a thought for those of all our forces and are still fighting the war in the East.” It is therefore appropriate to publish the above four-page drawing which shows types of specialist ships of the Navy.

In the centre are the latest class of battleship, King George V and the Fleet Aircraft-Carriers Indomitable and Implacable representing the largest fighting ships of the Navy until completion of the “Vanguard” class King George V. is the name-ship of five of her class (the other four being Duke of York, Howe Anston and also Prince of Wales (lost off Malaya). The cruisers in the left background represent the 8-in. gun or “County class”, the 6-in. gun classes Uganda and Newcastle and the 5.25-in. gun “Dido” light cruiser class. Ahead of King George V is a flotilla leader of the “Javelin” and “Jervis” class, armed with 4.7-in. guns and with a speed of 36 knots. Another type of destroyer is included, a ship of the famous “Tribal” class this ship being one of the “improved” type built in Canada and distinguished by her “tower” mast. The cutters were originally in the United States coastguard service, ships of this class performing distinguished service on the North African coast. Typifying the sloops or ships of the “Wren” or “Bird” class is shown “Starling” flagship of the late captain Walker’s flotilla, distinguished in U-boat warfare in the North Atlantic. North Sea trawlers are evident by a ship of the “Dance” class with a fine record of service in convoy escort duty, two ships of this class, Tengo and Sword Dance having formed part of a convoy escort in which our artist was privilege to sail. In the left foreground a minesweeper, fitted to deal satisfactorily with the once-dreaded acoustic and magnetic mines, is shown and the “Kango” hammer on her stem may be observed. The motor torpedo-boats and motor gun-boats are represented by two typical craft, these phenomenally fast little ships of the Light Coastal Forces possessing a magnificent war record. Usually manned by R.N.V.R. personnel they have fought many a gallant action against numerically superior enemy forces and have rendered much successful rescue work in all weather conditions. Included in Light Coastal Forces are the motor launches or “M. L’s”, the smallest craft in the Service in which crews “live” on board. These little ships- a “M.G.B” is shown near King George V for comparative sizes – have proved to be so versatile on their lawful occasions that they are affectionately known as “Maids of All Work”. The A. and M. minesweepers M.T.B.s M.G.B.s and M.I.s are of wooden construction. In the right background and centre the various types of Aircraft-carriers are depicted. Above are shown aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm, including the Seafire, Barracuda torpedo bomber and a monitor of the “Abercrombie” class and a river gun-boat are also seen in the right background. Astern of the fleet aircraft-carrier is a minelayer of improved “Abdiel” class highly specialized fighting ships and probably the fastest afloat. A ship of this class the Welshman, performed yeoman service on fast supply runs between Malta and Gibraltar during that heroic island’s ordeal, running the gauntlet of enemy aircraft and warships with R.A.F personnel, munitions and food. She was known as the “Flying Welshman” and a plaque to her memory is to be set in the wall of the Grand Harbour, Valetta. A typical fleet minesweeper is shown beneath her, of which a number of this type are Canadian-built. In the right centre a corvette of the “Castle” class represents these fine little petrol and escort vessels, and also a Frigate of the “Colonies” class illustrates the corvette’s bigger sister. Finally, below, in the right foreground, the Submarine Branch is represented by the Torbay, and in contrast the “Three Man Midget” and the “Two Man” human torpedo are included in the design. In thus typifying the strength and genius of those who sailed these ships and held command of the seas in the past five exhausting years."

The quote used in The Illustrated London News for the title of this illustration was taken from Winston Churchill's broadcast on 13 May 1945 following V.E.. day which had occurred on the 8 May that year; 'My friends, when our minds turn to the North-Western approaches, we will not forget the devotion of our merchant seamen, and our minesweepers out every night, and so rarely mentioned in the headlines. Nor will we forget the vast, inventive, adaptive, and in the end, all-controlling power of the Royal Navy, with its ever more potent ally, the air. These have kept the lifeline open. We were able to breathe; we were able to live; we were able to strike.' (W. Churchill, Churchill: The Power of Words, ed. M. Gilbert, London, 2012, p. 12.)
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