Green­wood … The Last Bat­tle­ship!

The Wokingham Paper - - LEISURE -

WITH Re­mem­brance Day com­ing up on Sun­day, I thought it would be ap­pro­pri­ate to write a story this week about a paint­ing with links to our won­der­ful and, in my opin­ion, un­der­val­ued Armed Ser­vices.

What bet­ter than a re­cent ad­di­tion to the walls of my gallery thanks to a lo­cal artist David Green­wood. To­day I am fea­tur­ing one of David’s beau­ti­ful paint­ings, an orig­i­nal oil on can­vas of HMS Van­guard fol­low­ing its de­com­mis­sion­ing at Faslane in Scot­land.

HMS Van­guard was the last Bat­tle­ship ever built in Bri­tain. Con­struc­tion was started dur­ing the early part of the Sec­ond World War but due to changes in de­sign and con­struc­tion de­lays wasn’t com­pleted un­til late 1944 but due to a fa­tal ex­plo­sion dur­ing its fi­nal fit out was not com­mis­sioned un­til af­ter the end of the war in May 1946.

The ship was built by

John Brown and Com­pany of Cly­de­bank and launched by the then Princess El­iz­a­beth… The first ship our cur­rent Queen ever launched.

Fol­low­ing sea tri­als dur­ing that sum­mer the ship was fi­nally com­mis­sioned in Au­gust 1946 at a to­tal cost of over £11 mil­lion. The ship was al­ways held in high re­gard among those who served on her and by oth­ers who never got the chance.

She was the Royal Navy’s big­gest and fastest ever bat­tle­ship and dur­ing her life she served with many fleets within The Royal Navy, nearly al­ways be­ing each fleet’s flag­ship. The ship’s first task, af­ter com­plet­ing her sea tri­als, was to trans­port King Ge­orge VI and the rest of the Royal Fam­ily on the first ever Royal Tour to South Africa by a reign­ing monarch.

Dur­ing her ser­vice life Van­guard was in­volved with sup­port­ing many fleets around the world in­clud­ing NATO forces but fol­low­ing a re­fit in 1955 she was put into re­serve with an an­nounce­ment by the then Gov­ern­ment five years later that she was ear­marked for de­com­mis­sion­ing. She was towed from Portsmouth to a break­ers yard in Faslane in 1960.

On leav­ing Portsmouth hun­dreds of peo­ple lined South­sea seafront to see her off. As well as be­ing the last bat­tle­ship ever built, she was also the last bat­tle­ship ever scrapped!

David Green­wood was born and ed­u­cated in Brad­ford, York­shire. He trained as a com­mer­cial artist and il­lus­tra­tor and af­ter com­plet­ing his Na­tional Ser­vice he be­came a map re­pro­duc­tion artist in The Mid­dle East.

By 1969 he had moved to Bris­tol where he stud­ied art and de­sign full-time and sub­se­quently be­came a teacher in Berk­shire where he still re­sides to this day. David’s works have been fea­tured in many pres­ti­gious ex­hi­bi­tions over the years, in­clud­ing the Royal So­ci­ety of Painters in

Oil and the Royal So­ci­ety of Painters in Wa­ter­colour, in­clud­ing some ex­hi­bi­tions at The Mall and Spink Gal­leries in Lon­don. His works fea­ture in many pri­vate col­lec­tions around the world.

This pic­ture is cur­rently avail­able for sale in my show­room or in my on­line shop and has real value in it, be­ing priced at only £650.

Al­ter­na­tively, we now of­fer a leas­ing ar­range­ment, so this along with all of our paint­ings, can be rented for a small fixed monthly rental fee.

This piece, along with many other great orig­i­nal works, is avail­able to view, pur­chase or rent at An­tiqArt, the “preloved art” gallery at Holme Grange Craft Vil­lage or on­line at www. an­tiqart.co.uk or call us on 0118 327 5421.

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