HMS ROYAL OAK ENTERING PLYMOUTH HARBOUR, 1937: PASSING CREMYLL
. Watercolour signed and dated 1937 and annotated "HMS ROYAL OAK Entering Plymouth Harbour Passing Cremyll"..
29 x 10 ins (74 x 25.5 cms) approx
Price is available upon request
This original has been sold and is no longer available.
This is a very familiar stretch of water both to those who know their Plymouth harbour and the Sound, and to Frank Watson Wood who painted many of his finest watercolours from this same area: looking out north eastwards from the seaward side of Mount Edgcumb across The Narrows with Devil’s Point in the background masking Plymouth Hoe which lies behind. Mount Wise is over on the left and Wilderness Point is on the right of the painting.
Frank Wood has dated this watercolour 1937. From the painting we can see its high summer - an important summer - for King George VI’s Coronation Review of his Fleets took place on 20th May at Spithead. The 2nd Battle Squadron, Home Fleet, led by HMS ROYAL OAK (Captain T B Drew OBE RN) and wearing the flag of Rear Admiral G C Ramsey CB (Rear Admiral 2nd Battle Squadron) together with others of the 2nd BS, RAMILLIES, RESOLUTION and ROYAL SOVEREIGN, were anchored there in the review lines. This painting shows the great battleship winding her way up through the Narrows and towards the naval base of Devonport sometime during that summer during which Frank Wood was kept very busy painting the ships out at Spithead and in Portsmouth. He had also been commissioned by the King to paint the senior ship at the review, HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH wearing the flag of the C-in-C Mediterranean Fleet, Admiral Sir Dudley Pound, a painting subsequently presented by His Majesty to QUEEN ELIZABETH. This latter picture and several others of the 1937 Review (and other reviews) are to be found in Maritime Originals’ and Maritime Prints’ collections (see www.maritimeprints.com)
Here off Cremyll, just up from Mount Edgcumb, a dockyard tug is keeping close station off the battleship’s port bow either prior to being connected or merely as a precaution in case she is needed to aid manoeuvring ROYAL OAK in this very restricted stretch of water; and Wood’s usual ingredients of lots of other craft busying around at least one with the obligatory maroon sails are all to be seen!