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HMS Centurion, 60 gun ship of the line launched at Portsmouth in 1732 and commissioned in 1734. She served in the Home Fleet and took part in the expedition to Lisbon by Sir John Norris. In 1738 she was captained by George Anson and led a small squadron to the African coast then to Jamaica and back to England. In 1740 she started her famous circumnavigation being the only ship to survive the entire voyage and capturing the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Cavadonga. After being cut down to a 50 gun ship she took part in the first battle of Finisterre.

 The fourth Centurion built and in 1740 she was the flagship of Commodore George Anson in a squadron of 7 ships who were brought up to complement by 500 superannuated and Chelsea out-pensioners, who all died during the voyage. They sailed on Anson's famous circumnavigation of the world in September 1740. They touched at Madeira and Port St Julian, and off Cape Horn in March 1741 the squadron were dispersed by a succession of gales. Scurvy broke out and the Centurion buried 43 men. She reached Juan Fernandez in June 1741 with 130 men on the sick list, besides having buried 200 men on the passage. Here a prize was captured, and the squadron set sail for the South American coast, capturing another prize on the way. They arrived in Payta Bay in November and surprised the town. Plunder to the value of 32,000 and other stores were taken; the town was set on fire and six vessels in the bay were sunk. In May 1742 the Commodore sailed for China. In August the Centurion anchored off one of the Ladrone Islands and landed 128 sick men, many of whom died. In November the ship arrived off Macao and wintered. In April 1743 Anson put to sea in an attempt to capture the large Spanish galleon trading between Acapulco and Manilla. On June 20th she was sighted off the Island of Samar, and proved to be the long-sought ship Nuestra Senora de Cavadonga. An action followed and lasted nearly two hours, at the end of which the Spaniard struck with a loss of 67 killed and 84 wounded. The Centurion lost only 2 killed and 17 wounded. The cargo of the prize included nearly one and a half million dollars, besides 36,000 ounces of silver and other merchandise. On July 10th the squadron reached Canton, and in December sold the prize at Macao. Numerous difficulties with the Chinese were experienced. In December 1743 the Centurion turned homewards, and reached Spithead on June 15th 1744. Thus ended Commodore George Anson's circumnavigation of the globe, a great naval exploring expedition with war-like objects, carried out with the greatest skill, patience and perseverance.

As the Admiralty declined to confirm Anson's first Lieutenant as captain, Anson returned his own commission as Rear-Admiral of the Blue, and went on half pay as a captain for six months. There is not a doubt that Anson was in the wrong. A change of Government taking place some ten months afterwards, Anson became a Lord of the Admiralty, and being promoted to Rear-Admiral of the White received two steps at once.

The figurehead of this centurion was a big lion some sixteen feet high. It was presented to the Duke of Richmond by King George III when the Centurion was broken up. While serving as an inn sign at Goodwood it was much admired by King William IV, who begged it from the Duke, and used it as a staircase ornament at Windsor Castle. The King later on presented it to Greenwich Hospital, with directions to place it in one of the wards, which he desired should be called the Anson Ward. It remained there until 1871 when it was removed to the playground of the Naval School, where owing to the action of the weather it unfortunately crumbled to pieces. At one time the following lines were inscribed beneath it:-

Stay, traveller, a while, and view

One who has travelled more than you;

Quite round the globe, thro' each degree,

Anson and I have ploughed the sea.

Torrid and frigid zones have pass'd

And-safe ashore arrived at last-

In ease with dignity appear,

He in the House of Lords-I here.

In 1746 the Centurion was cut down to a 50 gun ship. In 1747 the Centurion commanded by Captain Peter Denis, was in an English fleet of 17 ships under the command of Vice-Admiral George Anson, who flew his flag in Prince George. The French fleet, under Admiral de la Jonquiere, consisted of 14 men-of-war and a convoy of 24 ships, and was sighted on May 23rd about 70 miles from Cape Finisterre. The French made off and Anson chased. A running fight of 3 hours followed, in which 13 French ships were captured, while a small detached squadron captured six of the French convoy. Night saved the rest. A topical song of the time expresses in the following verses the part played by the Centurion:

The Centurion first led the van, (bis)

And held 'em till we came up;

Then we their hides did sorely bang,

Our broadsides we on them did pour, (bis)

We gave the French a sower drench,

And soon their topsails made them lower.

 

And when they saw our fleet come up, (bis)

They for quarters call'd without delay,

And their colours they that moment struck

O! how we did rejoice and sing, (bis)

To see such prizes we had took,

For ourselves and for George our King.

The French lost 700 killed and wounded, and the English 520, including one captain killed. Specie to the value of 300,000 was taken from the prizes. This victory was valuable if not brilliant. Vie-Admiral Anson was created a Peer and the captured men-of-war were all added to the British Navy.

In June 1751 the Centurion, flying the broad pennant of Commodore the Hon. Augustus Keppel, proceeded to Algiers, and smoothed over some difficulties with the Dey. The story goes that the Dey angrily expressed surprise that the King of Great Britain should have sent a beardless boy to treat with him. Keppel replied: "Had my master supposed that wisdom was measured by the length of the beard, he would have sent your Deyship a he-goat." After threatening Keppel with death, the Dey consented to treat.

In 1754, the Centurion, Captain the Hon. Augustus Keppel, in company with the Norwich, escorted to North America a large number of troops, destined to assist the colonials in the suppression of the Indians, who with France behind them as moral support, were rising against the English whites.

In 1759 the Centurion, commanded by Captain William Mantell, was in a fleet of 49 ships besides transports under Vice-Admiral Charles Saunders with his flag in Neptune. They left Spithead on February 17th and, having secured pilots by a ruse, they anchored a few miles below Quebec on June 26th with nearly 10,000 troops. On June 28th the French sent down seven fireships and two firerafts, but these were grappled and towed clear by the activity of the seamen. On September 13th under cover of the guns of the Centurion, the troops were landed and attacked Quebec. The seamen assisted with guns. On this day both General Wolfe and the Marquis of Montcalm, the English and French Commanders-in-Chief of the troops were mortally wounded. After some fighting the French retired. Additional ships were brought up to bombard, and on the 17th the enemy offered to surrender. On the 18th Vice-Admiral Saunders was one of the signatories to the surrender.

In May 1762 the Centurion, commanded by Captain James Galbraith, was in the English fleet proceeding to Havana against the Spaniards, which consisted of 53 ships, besides storeships, hospital ships and transports, with 15,000 troops. Admiral Sir George Pocock, with his flag in Namur, and George, Earl of Albemarle, were the naval and military Commanders-in-Chief. On May 27th the fleet of 200 sail in all stood away for the Old Strait of Bahama, which was safely navigated by marking the dangerous shoals and reefs with boats. During the passage two Spanish ships were captured. On June 6th the fleet arrived off Havana, and while a feint was made elsewhere the troops were landed under cover of the guns of the fleet. Moro was bombarded, although the Spaniards made a most gallant defence, Havana fell, and the British took complete possession on August 14th 1762. Specie and stores to the value of three million pounds were captured; thirteen Spanish men-of-war were destroyed, three were sunk, and two on the stocks were burned. While on the passage to Havana some ships were detached and captured two ships in the harbour of Mariel. The British lost 1790 killed and wounded. The division of the prize money caused some heartburning. It worked out as follows: Admiral 123,000, captain 1600, petty officer 17, seaman or marine 4.

In 1769 the Centurion was broken up at Chatham.

 

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AVIATION PRINTS

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 Tribute to the ground crew of Bomber Command. Ground crew inspect and prepare the engines of a Stirling bomber as it is refuelled in preparation for that nights mission.

Stirling Work by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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 Two Spitfire Mk1Bs of 92 Squadron patrol the south coast from their temporary base at Ford, here passing over the Needles rocks, Isle of Wight, in the Spring of 1942.

In Them We Trust by Ivan Berryman. (F)
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 This was the moment when the massive Möhne dam was finally breached on the night of 16th-17th May 1943 during the top secret Operation Chastise. The specially-converted Lancaster B MkIII of Fl/Lt David Maltby ED906(G) AJ-J roars between the towers of the dam, having released the Upkeep bouncing bomb that would ultimately cause a cascade of water to flood into the valley below. Fl/Lt Harold Martin's identical aircraft, ED909(G) AJ-P can be seen off Maltby's port wing with all of its light ablaze, drawing enemy fire from the attacking bomber.

Dambusters - Moment of Truth 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.
Catalina Attack by John Wynne Hopkins (B)
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Two  Me109s of Adolf Gallands famed JG26 breaking away after a head on attack against Johnnies Johnsons Spitfire formation.

Combat over the Pas de Calais by Simon Smith.
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 The German High Command entered World War II with the notion that the war would be quickly won, and certainly without the need to fight at night.  The RAF changed all that when Bomber Command, having suffered appalling losses in daylight, turned to attacking under the cloak of darkness.  By mid-1940 the Luftwaffe was forced to hurriedly form its first night fighter wing utilising the Messerschmitt Bf110.  Without specialised equipment, initially Luftwaffe pilots relied on visual acquisition, detecting enemy aircraft with the aid of searchlights.  To combat intensifying RAF night attacks, new electronic methods of navigation and detection were developed, and by the end on 1942 the German night fighter force had almost 400 aircraft contesting the night skies.  Almost 1300 British aircraft were destroyed in that year alone.The Bf110G-4 of 47-night victory pilot Oberleutnant Martin Drewes at dusk in March 1944, heading out to intercept in-bound British four-engined bombers over north west Germany. Equipped with the latest FuG220 and 218 radars, the experienced crew will lie in wait, carefully choose their prey, stalk and close for the kill. The deadly game of hide and seek is about to begin.

Night Hunters of the Reich by Nicolas Trudgian.
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 Wing Commander Ken Wallis flies his WA-115 autogyro over the Shinmoi Crater in the Krishima area of the southern Japanese island of Kyushu in preparation for filming the action sequences for the James Bond film <i>You Only Live Twice</i>.  Those of us who enjoy a certain series of spy films will be much aware of Little Nellie, designed by Wing Commander Ken Wallis MBE She is pictured flying above the tops of extinct volcanoes.  Little Nellie was one of 3 military Type WA-116 built during 1962 and one of these remains today taking part in military exercises and with camouflage bodywork.  These operate in remote military and civilian roles and a specially-silenced WA-117 was used during the Loch Ness investigation and for special photography in Saudi Arabia.  These effective and nimble autogyros have been flown from Naval patrol craft which are too small for helicopters.  The Wallis autogyros have held all 20 of the UK official world records for autogyro speed, time to climb, altitude, range and duration and even now, further world record-breaking flights are being planned.

Little Nellie by Robert Tomlin. (Y)
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 Rittmeister Karl Bolle Commander Jasta 2 early 1918.

Alone in a Winter Sky - Fokker Triplane DR1 by David Pentland.
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 Two Fairey Firefly fighter-bombers of 810 Sqn, Fleet Air Arm, overfly the carrier HMS Theseus during the Korean War.

HMS Theseus by Ivan Berryman.
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 Mitsubishi G4Ms of 27 Kanoya Kokutai begin their devastating attack on Force Z off the north east coast of Malaya on 10th December 1941. Both Repulse and prince of Wales were lost in the attack, while their accompanying destroyers remained to pick up survivors among them HMS Express which can be seen off HMS Repulse starboard quarter.

HMS Repulse with HMS Prince of Wales Under Attack by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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 Launched on 3rd November 1986 and commissioned into the Royal Navy on 14th January 1989, HMS Trenchant (S91) was the fifth of the Trafalgar class nuclear powered submarines and was the first Royal Navy vessel to fire the Block IV Tomahawk cruise missile.  In addition to her complement of missiles, she is also equipped with Spearfish torpedoes and some of the most sophisticated data acquisition and underwater detection systems which allow her to monitor surface vessels undetected.

HMS Trenchant by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 On the 1st of August 1798, thirteen French ships of the line sat anchored in Aboukir Bay off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt, in support of Napoleon who was inland with his troops attempting to conquer the country. As nighttime approached so did Lord Horatio Nelson and the British fleet. Nelson had been hunting Napoleon at sea for months; at Aboukir Bay he had found the French fleet, trapped and unprepared for battle. Nelsons audacious plan was to attack the French on their unprotected prot side, the plan had its risks; the whole of the British fleet could run aground in the shallows - but Nelson knew the waters too well. The Battle of the Nile was one of the most decisive in the history of naval warfare. By the end of the battle nearly all the French ships were sunk or captured. The 124-gun flagship - and the pride of the French navy - LOrient, had exploded with such ferocity that it halted the battle for over ten minutes. Napoleons ability to dominate the region had been crushed, whilst Nelson was to become a hero throughout the whole of Britain.

Battle of the Nile by Anthony Saunders. (Y)
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 The view across Battleship Row, viewed from above Ford Island as the USS Nevada gallantly makes her break for the open sea, coming under heavy attack from Japanese A6M2s from the carrier Hiryu. The Nevada was eventually too badly damaged to continue and was beached to avoid blocking the harbour entrance. In the immediate foreground, the lightly damaged USS Tennessee is trapped inboard of USS West Virginia which has sunk at her moorings, leaking burning oil and hampering the daring operations to pluck trapped crew members from her decks, while just visible to the right is the stern of the USS Maryland and the capsized Oklahoma.
Attack on Pearl Harbor by Ivan Berryman
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 Completed in 1916, the Resolution was one of the finest capital ships in the Royal Navy, serving in many theatres with her sister ships, Royal Sovereign, Royal Oak, Ramillies and Revenge, she is shown here in 1936.

HMS Resolution by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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Westland Wyverns go vertical over HMS Eagle during the Suez Crisis of 1956

Up and Over by Randall Wilson.
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 Showing visible signs of her tangle with British cruisers at the Battle of the River Plate, the German pocket battleship Graf Spee slips into the neutral waters of the Montevideo roadstead for light repairs.  This was to be the last haven for the Graf Spee which was later scuttled at the harbour mouth, her commander Kapitan zur See Langsdorff believing a large British fleet to be waiting for attempted escape into the South Atlantic.

Admiral Graf Spee by Ivan Berryman.
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 OT34 Flamethrower tank and men of Col. Krickmans 6th Guards Tank Brigade take part in the Soviet counter attacks of 13th-27th September in defence of the southern factory district of Stalingrad before the final offensive in October.

Motherland, The Battle of Stalingrad, September 1942 by David Pentland. (GL)
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DHM605.  Charge of the Russian Cuirassiers at Borodino by Jim Lancia.
Charge of the Russian Cuirassiers at Borodino by Jim Lancia.
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French skirmishers engaging Prussians during an attack in Metz during August 1870.
Surprise attack in the Suburbs of Metz by Alphonse de Neuville.
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 The Duke of Wellington was blockading the fortress of Ciudad Rodrigo with 32,000 troops. The French sent a force of 45,000 troops under Marshal Andre Massena to relieve the fortress. Wellington took up a strong position at Fuentos DOnoro and the French attacked on May 5th with superior numbers. The British army held their ground with the cost of 1,500 casualties, the French suffered higher losses of 2,200 troops and finally withdrew. The Duke of Wellington quickly seized Almeida.

The 95th Rifle Brigade at the Battle of Fuentes De Onoro, 5th May 1811 by Chris Collingwood. (Y)
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<b>Ex-display prints in near perfect condition. </b>

With Banners Bravely Spread by Sir John Gilbert. (Y)
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 Scouts of the 13th Light Dragoons keep watch on the advancing French Army.

The Vedette of the 13th Light Dragoons by Chris Collingwood. (Y)
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GDHM3019GL. Sergeant John McAulay, 1st Battalion Scots Guards Winning the VC at Fontaine Notre Dame, France 27th November 1917 By David Rowlands.
Sergeant John McAulay, 1st Battalion Scots Guards Winning the VC at Fontaine Notre Dame, France 27th November 1917 By David Rowlands. (GL)
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<b>Ex display prints in near perfect condition. </b>

The Infantry Will Advance by Carl Rochling. (Y)
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 Damon Hill, World Champion

King of the Track by Stuart Coffield
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B45. David Coulthard/ Williams FW.17 by Ivan Berryman

David Coulthard/ Williams FW.17 by Ivan Berryman
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Jason Robinson by Robert Highton. (Y)
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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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FAR695.  Tribute to Lester Piggott by Stuart McIntyre.

Tribute to Lester Piggott by Stuart McIntyre.
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 England 31 - New Zealand 28. Played at Twickenham, November 9th 2002. England : Robinson, Simpson Daniel, Greenwood, Tindall, Cohen, Wilkinson, Dawson, Woodman, Vickery, Thompson, Grewcock, Johnson, Moody, Hill, Dallaglio. (Subs) Back, Healey, B. Johnson, Kay, Leonard, Regan, Stimpson. Scores: Try - Moody, Try - Wilkinson, Try - Cohen, Drop Goal - Wilkinson, 2 Conversions - Wilkinson, 3 Penalties - Wilkinson. <br><br>New Zeland: Blair, Howlett, Lowen, Umaga, Lomu, Spencer, Devine, McDonnell, Meeuws, Hore, Williams, Robinson, Randell, Holah, Broomhall, (Subs) Hayman, Lee, Mealamu, Mehrtens, Mika, Robinsom, So oialo. Scores: 2 Tries - Lomu, Try - Howlett, Try - Lee, 2 Conversions - Blair, 2 Conversions - Mehrtens.

England versus New Zealand - Investec 2002 by Doug Harker. (Y)
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 The Minstrel, 1977, Shergar, 1981, Golden Fleece, 1982, .Teenoso, 1983, Reference Point, 1987, Nashwan, 1989.

Derby Winners by Peter Deighan.
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SFA15.  Bollocks by Chris Howells.

Bollocks by Chris Howells.
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