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Pre Dreadnought Battleship HMS Alexandra. In 1878 the Alexandra was commanded by Captain Robert Fitzroy through the Dardanelles to Constantinople and although grounded was refloated without damage. In 1882 HMS Alexandra took part in the bombardment of Alexandria under Captain Charles Hotham. Marines from the Alexandra joined the army at Kassassin and Tel-el-Kebir. She also saw service on the Nile. King George 5th served as a lieutenant aboard the Alexandra during 1887-88.

Displacement:  9,90tons.    Horse power: 8,610.    Length: 325 ft.    Beam: 64 ft.    Draught: 26 ft.    Armament: 12 guns.    Speed 15 knots.    Complement: .

HMS ALEXANDRA LAUNCHED 1877 SOLD AT CHATHAM 1903

HMS Alexandra, 1877.

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HMS Alexandra.

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HMS Alexandra, 1877.

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HMS Alexandra, 1877.

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HMS Alexandra

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In 1878 the Alexandra commanded by Captain Robert Fitzroy and flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Geoffrey Hornby, was at the head of six ships which cleared for action and proceeded through the Dardanelles to Constantinople to protect British interests during the conflict between Russia and Turkey. The Turks did not obstruct the passage of the ships, and no fighting took place. During the entry the Alexandra took the ground, but was got off without damage, and she was told off to attack the heavy 50 ton gun at the entrance if there had been any fighting. It was fortunate that the Turks did not fire, for it might have been impossible to save the stranded flagship. The Sultan which, appropriately enough, was commanded by Captain His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, K.G., turned back and gave such assistance as was necessary, to enable the Alexandra to be promptly refloated. Vice-Admiral Hornby was awarded with a KCB for his tactful management of the situation.

In July 1882 the Alexandra, commanded by Captain Charles Frederick Hotham, and flying the flag of Admiral Sir Frederick Beauchamp Seymour, lay at Alexandra at the head of a fleet of 14 ships. On July 11th the Alexandra fired the first shot of the bombardment of Alexandria at 7 am, the Egyptians having refused to surrender the forts. Owing to the flagship's draught of water, Sir Beauchamp Seymour had temporarily transferred his flag to the Invincible, but the Alexandra was stationed 1500 yards from Lighthouse Fort. All ships were cleared for action, topgallantmasts being struck and bowsprits rigged in. By 7.10 am all ships were engaged, and all the forts that could bring their guns to bear replied with vigour. By 5pm all guns ashore had been silenced, and the fleet ceased bombarding at 5.30 pm. The Alexandra received a 10 inch shell through an unarmoured portion of her side, which lodged on the main deck with the fuse burning. Gunner Israel Harding flung some water over it, and then picked up the shell and immersed it in a tub of water. For this act he was promoted to chief gunner and received the Victoria Cross. The British casualties were 5 killed and 28 wounded, to which the Alexandra contributed 1 killed and 3 wounded. The Egyptian loss has never been properly ascertained, but it is believed to have been about 150 killed and 400 wounded out of the 2000 men engaged in working the forts. The Alexandra had 24 hits from shot or shell outside her armour, and was struck in all about 60 times.

The men from the Alexandra then assisted in the occupation and policing of the town. Midshipman D R DeChair of this ship, while carrying despatches between Ras et Tin and Ramleh, lost his way, and fell into the hands of the rebels. He was well treated by Arabi Pasha, but was not liberated until the British Army occupied Cairo.

On 5th August the Alexandra contributed to a Naval Brigade which left Alexandria in the armoured train commanded by Captain John Fisher, of the Inflexible. Admiral Sir Beauchamp Seymour and Flag-Lieutenant the Hon. Hedworth Lambton accompanied the Brigade. The marines were de-trained about 800 yards from from Mehallet Junction, and, assisted by a 40 pounder Armstrong gun, quickly dislodged the enemy. During the evening the Brigade was exposed to a galling fire, but the marines behaved with great gallantry and bore the brunt of the attack. The casualties in this affair were 1 marine killed and 12 wounded, and 1 seaman killed and 4 wounded. The Naval Brigade were then recalled to their ships.

In August the Alexandra's marines assisted in the seizure and control of the Suez Canal. 

In September the Alexandra contributed men and machine guns to a Naval Brigade - 250 strong- under Captain Robert Fitzroy, of the Orion, which joined the army at Kassassin commanded by General Sir Garnet Wolseley. On September 13th the army met the enemy at Tel-el-Kebir, and defeated them with great slaughter. The marines attacked the Tel-el-Kebir lines with great courage, engaged the enemy at hand-grips, and carried the position. The Arabs broke and fled, and were pursued for 4 miles. The marines lost 2 officers, 1 NCO, and 10 men killed and 4 officers and 43 men wounded. Lieutenant Wyatt Rawson RN, who was Naval ADC to Sir Garnet Wolseley, was mortally wounded. A few days later the Naval Brigade were withdrawn to their ships.

In 1885 the Alexandra contributed to a Naval Brigade which operated on the Nile under Captain Lord Charles Beresford and took part in the battles of Abu Klea, Metemmeh and Wad-Habeshi, and in the relief of Sir Charles Wilson.

Admiral Sir Beauchamp was raised to the peerage as Baron Alcester and Captain C F Hotham rewarded with a CB for their services.

From May 20th 1887 to July 1st 1887, and from April 21st 1888 to November 5th 1888, HRH Prince George of Wales, later to become His Most Gracious Majesty King George the Fifth, served in this ship as a lieutenant.

In 1890 the Alexandra was reconstructed, and re-rigged with fighting tops, but she saw no more active service. In 1908 the Alexandra was sold at Devonport.

Extracted from "The King's Ships" 1915 by Leckie

In the Petty Officers Reading Room in the Alexandra

The Petty Officers on board ship performed duties that correspond roughly to the duties performed by non-commissioned officers in the Army during 1896. They were supplied by the Admiralty with a number of newspapers and periodicals, and the reading room was a place on board set apart out of working hours for their use - sometimes cut off by a canvas screen - where the petty officers could "recreate" generally, apart from the rest of the ship's company. Backgammon, draughts, chess and games at cards were allowed with the proviso that there was no gambling.

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Jack in his Watch Below on Board the Alexandra

Here we see Jack turned in for the night. In the 1890's a sailor slept where he lived and had his meals, clearing a space to sling his hammock in by removing the mess tables and gear used by day out of the way and securing them overhead. To the landsman a hammock was not the easiest to get into, without risk of overleaping oneself and coming down on deck on the other side. Grave consequences might well ensue from a cutting down of the lashings at the head of a sleeper, a not infrequent way among the midshipmen of the old days of paying off scores.

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HMS Alexandra, January, 1897

HMS Alexandra

Captain W H Pigott in his Cabin, 1896

The Company of the Alexandra at Portland

The company of the second-class battleship Alexandra - the Duke of Edinburgh's old flagship in the Mediterranean - assembled in the waist of the vessel. The officers are seen on the port gangway, at the side of the ship, which forms a means of communication fore and aft. In our photograph, the "Red" Marines (Light Infantry) are seen to starboard, and the "Blue" Marines (Artillery) to port, with the bluejackets massed in port and starboard watches, and a number of the petty officers of the Alexandra. The Alexandra was stationed at Portland in 1896 to act as flagship of the First Reserve or coastguard ships. As a coastguard ship she was manned below the level of seagoing complement, the ship's full strength being provided under the mobilization scheme by the addition of drafts of coastguardsmen from the stations nearest Portland and the Naval Reserve men drawn from the neighbouring districts.

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In the Battery of the Alexandra 1896

The photograph shows one of the 22 ton breech loading guns forming part of the upper central battery of the Alexandra battleship, "cast loose" for action and about to be fired. This is the scene which one would see if a hostile ship came within range of the Alexandra's guns. The Captain of the gun is shown with outstretched lanyard in hand waiting for the order to "commence firing". Behind him are men of the gun detachment; one with a sponge for wiping out the bore of the gun after the round was fired, and another, with a fresh cartridge in its leather case ready for use. The Alexandra was constructed with two central batteries one above the other; the upper mounted four 22 ton breech loading guns and the lower mounted eight 18 ton muzzle loaders, a combination of heavy armament not found on any other British battleship at the time (1896).

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AVIATION PRINTS

Click above to see all of our aviation art index - Eight random half price aviation items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Aviation Art Offers

One of the most advanced aircraft of World War II, the AR234 with its twin turbojets could carry out its high altitude reconnaissance or bombing duties at speed which made interception by Allied aircraft virtually impossible.
Luftwaffe Arado 234 B-2 by Barry Price.
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Tragedy at the Eder by Ivan Berryman.
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  D for Donald of 270 squadron, Royal Air Force, out of Freetown, West Africa operating in the Atlantic Ocean. It was during routine operation search that D for Donald surprised U515 on the surface and immediately attacked the submarine. U515 in putting up stiff resistance blew a large hole in the hull of D for Donald and the magazine of the starboard side 0.5 twin Browning was hit and the subsequent shrapnel wounded both blister gunners. U515 escaped but was sunk by an American naval hunter group a year later. D for Donald limped back to base and managed to make the beach before it would sink completely.
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Tribute to Flt Lt Ian R Gleed by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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NAVAL PRINTS

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At 12.30pm on the 21st of October 1805, Admiral Lord Nelson on board his flagship, HMS Victory, breaks the line of the combined French and Spanish fleets.  The Victory is delivering a devastating stern rake to the 80 gun French ship Bucentaure, the flagship of the combined fleets, commanded by Vice-Admiral P. C. J. B. S. Villeneuve.  Starboard to the Victory is the 74 gun Redoutable.  This ship, the Victory and HMS Temeraire, seen left, became locked together soon after, the unequal exchange resulting in the Redoutable having the highest casualties during the entire battle.

Breaking the Line at the Battle of Trafalgar by Graeme Lothian
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 The heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire is brought up to sink the blazing wreck of the Bismarck with torpedoes at around 10:30 hours on the morning of May 27th 1941.  The once proud German ship had been ruthlessly pounded into a twisted and burning wreck by the British battleships Rodney and King George V.  HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Maori combed the area of the sinking for survivors, between them picking up a total of 110 out of an original complement of 2,300.

HMS Dorsetshire (The End of the Bismarck) by Ivan Berryman.
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Battle of the Nile by Anthony Saunders. (Y)
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B64AP.  HMS Centaur Departing Devonport by Ivan Berryman.

HMS Centaur Departing Devonport by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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Attack on Pearl Harbor by Ivan Berryman
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HMS Orion by Ivan Berryman.
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HMS Prince of Wales by Brian Wood (C)
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To increase the strength of the US fleet in the Pacific during the critical early months of the war, USS Indiana went through the Panama Canal.  On the 28th of November 1942 USS Indiana joined Rear Admiral Lee's aircraft carrier screening force.  For the next 11 months, USS Indiana helped protect USS Enterprise and USS Saratoga, which had been supporting the US invasion on the Solomon Islands.  On the 21st of October 1943 USS Indiana went to Pearl Harbor, but after only a couple of weeks left to support forces designated for the invasion of the Gilbert Islands.  The battleship protected the carriers which supported the Marines during the bloody fight for Tarawa atoll.  Then, in late January 1944, she bombarded Kwajalein for eight days prior to the  Marshall Island landings on 1st February 1944.  USS Indiana collided with the battleship USS Washington while refuelling destroyers, killing several men.  Temporary repairs to her starboard side were made at Majuro and USS Indiana returned to Pearl Harbor on 13th February 1944 for additional repair work.  The painting shows USS Indiana with one of the two carriers she protected.

USS Indiana, First Tour of Duty by Anthony Saunders (Y)
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MILITARY PRINTS

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 Hannibal had invaded Italy by taking his army including war elephants across the mountains and into northern Italy. He defeated the Romans in three major battles including Cannae, but he did not take Rome when he had the chance.  Once Rome had strengthened its forces, the Romans invaded Carthage. The second Punic War between Rome and Carthage was brought to a conclusion on the plains of Zama (modern Tunisia) with the Romans inflicting a crushing defeat on the army of Hannibal.

Battle of Zama by Brian Palmer. (Y)
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 Replacements from 1st Battalion Irish Guards and Sherman tanks of the 46th Royal Tank Regiment move through the debris of Anzio town towards their jump-off positions for the Battle of Campoleone Station.

Anzio, Italy, February 1944 by David Pentland. (GL)
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DHM805.  Episode during the Siege of Paris by E Detaille.
Episode during the Siege of Paris by Edouard Detaille.
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<b>Ex-display prints in near perfect condition. </b>
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Battle of Assaye  23rd September 1803. Governor General Lord Richard Wellesley ordered his younger Brother General Arthur Wellesley (Later to become Duke of Wellington) to command a British and native force of  4,500 men to the South -Central part of the Peninsula. (At thr same time He also Sent General Gerard Lake to the north of India, see Battle fo Laswarree for further details)  General Arthur Wellesley, met a much larger Maratha Force of some 26,000 strong at Assaye in Hydrabad. on September 23rd 1803.  The Battle of Assaye became one of the bloodiest battle Arthur Wellesley fought, receiving 1500 casualties out of a force of 4,500. But the Maratha were routed and Assaye was a British Victory.

The Charge of the 19th Light Dragoons at Assaye by David Rowlands (B)
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DHM386.  Charge of Donops Cavalry Led by Marshal Ney at Waterloo by Demoulin.
Charge of Donops Cavalry Led by Marshal Ney at Waterloo by Demoulin.
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 It is August 1944, barely two months since the Allies landed their first troops on the beaches of Normandy. After the failed Operation Lüttich (codename given to a German counterattack during the Battle of Normandy, which took place around the American positions near Mortain from 7 August to 13 August, 1944 ) The German Panzer Divisions were in full retreat, The British and American Generals believed it to be critical to halt them before they cauld regroup. Caught in the Gap at Falaise, the battle was to be decisive. Flying throughout a continuous onslaught, rocket-firing Typhoons kept up their attacks on the trapped armoured divisions from dawn to dusk. The effect was devastating: at the end of the ten day battle the 100,000 strong German force was decimated. The battle of the Falaise Pocket marked the closing phase of the Battle of Normandy with a decisive German defeat. It is believed that between 80,000 to 100,000 German troops were caught in the encirclement of which 10,000 to 15,000 were killed, 45,000 to 50,000 taken prisoner, and around 20,000 escaped . Shown here are German Tiger I tanks under continues attack by Royal Aoir Force Typhoons.

Taming the Tiger by Geoff Lea. (Y)
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DHM655.  Prince Karl von Mecklenburg with East Prussian Cavalry at the Engagement of Goldberg, 23rd August 1813 by Richard Knotel.
Prince Karl von Mecklenburg with East Prussian Cavalry at the Engagement of Goldberg, 23rd August 1813 by Richard Knotel.
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SPORT PRINTS

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Jason Leonard by Robert Highton. (Y)
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 Ralf Schumacher winning the first Grand Prix of his career in the Williams FW23. Ralf dominated the San Marino Grand Prix from the first corner to the chequered flag giving Williams its first win since 1997. History was made when the Schumachers became the first brothers in Formula 1 to win a Grand Prix. Imola April 2001.

The Italian Job by Michael Thompson
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 Michael Schumacher celebrates another win for Ferrari.
Dream Team by Franklin.
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 Sir Bobby played more than 750 games for Manchester United, scoring 247 goals. He also played 106 times for his country and scored a record 49 goals. One of only two Englishmen to have won World Cup and European Cup medals his name will always remain synonymous with some of the greatest moments in the English game.

Sir Bobby Charlton by Gary Keane. (Y)
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Steeplechasers competing for the Blue Riband.

Chasing for Gold by Chris Howells.
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 M. Schumacher / JP Montoya.  Brazilian GP 2001.

Close Encounters by Michael Thompson.
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This signed art print was produced at the end of 2000 after the Olympics of that year, and has been sold out from the publisher for many years.  We have the last few publishers proofs of this edition available.  This superb art print celebrates the ultimate achievement for any athlete, the winning of an Olympic gold medal.  In the modern era athletes from Great Britain have won 178 gold medals and Gary Keane's montage celebrates some of the highlights from those achievements.  It captures the determination and effort required to win, as well as the euphoria when the realisation that a life long dream has finally become a reality.  This print is not only a tribute to those featured but also to all other competitors and medal winners who have strived to bring glory and honour to Great Britain.  As the Olympic Games enter a new century and a new chapter in history, it is hoped that this reminder of past glories will also help to inspire those competing for gold in the future.  This limited edition print is signed by six gold medal winners : <br>LYNN DAVIES - 1964 TOKYO Men's Long Jump.<br>MARY PETERS - 1972 MUNICH Pentathlon.<br>DALEY THOMPSON - 1980 MOSCOW Decathlon & 1984 LOS ANGELES Decathlon.<br>TESSA SANDERSON - 1984 LOS ANGELES Javelin.<br>SALLY GUNNELL - 1992 BARCELONA 400 metre Hurdles.<br>STEVEN REDGRAVE - 1984 LOS ANGELES Rowing Coxed Fours, 1988 SEOUL Rowing Coxless Pairs, 1992 BARCELONA Rowing Coxless Pairs, 1996 ATLANTA Rowing Coxless Pairs (and since signing this print, also 2000 SYDNEY Rowing Coxless Fours).

British Olympic Legends by Gary Keane
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Florida Pearl is an Irish-bred race horse, who raced in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Florida Pearl was owned by Mrs Violet O'Leary and trained by top Irish trainer Willie Mullins.  The 2001/02 season proved to be successful for Florida Pearl, winning the John Durkan Memorial Chase.  Florida Pearl then returned to Kempton to win the King George VI Chase beating Best Mate in December.  He returned back to England for his next start in the Grade 2 Martell Cup Chase where he cruised to an 11 length victory over Cyfor Malta.  The painting shows Florida Pearl over the one of the nineteen fences to win the Martell Cup at Aintree in 2002, with Jockey  Barry Geraghty.

Florida Pearl by Stephen Smith.
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