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HMS Imperieuse 

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HMS Imperieuse, Royal Navy armoured cruiser built at Portsmouth Dockyard and launched on 18th December 1883. HMS Imperieuse served as flagship to the China Station 1889-1894 and moving to the Pacific Station 1896 -1899. She became a destroyer depot ship at Portland in 1905 and was renamed HMS Sapphire but reverting to HMS Imperieuse again in 1909. She was finally scrapped on 24th September 1914.

Displacement 8,400 tons,  Length. 315 feet.  beam 62 feet.  Draught 27.33 feet.   Horsepower 10,000 giving 16.75 knots

Armament. Four 9.2 inch guns,  six 6-inch guns. and six 14-inch torpedo Tubes.    Armour.  Belt amidships 10 inches. with 9 -inch Bulkheads. 8 inch Barbettes, No armour on Lesser Guns. 3 inch protective deck for and aft and on top of belt. 9 inch Conning tower.

HMS Imperieuse

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A Holophote on Board HMS Imperieuse 1896

The search-light or Holophote was one of the appliances that the torpedo boat brought into being. Search-lights were used on board ship in peace times for various purposes, such as for signalling at night, but in times of war their principal use would have been in connection with the work for which they were first designed. The working and control of the Holophote was at all times under the electrical staff of the ship. The projectors, situated at various points about the ship, could turn in any direction, electricity being supplied by dynamos down below, and produced by carbons placed within the projector so as to illuminate the concave mirror forming the back of the projector and reflect a perfectly straight beam of light onto any object above the horizon.

Petty Officers on HMS Imperieuse 1896

The Petty Officers, appointed from the lower deck from men of superior education and intelligence, numbered 2 chief petty officers and 31 first- and second-class petty officers, in addition to the artificers and the petty officers of the engine room.

The Marines on HMS Imperieuse 1896

The Marines of the Imperieuse comprised 70 non-commissioned officers and men, gunners and infantry, under a Major and Lieutenant. 

On Board the Imperieuse the Flagship in the Pacific in 1896.

At the head of everyone in the ship is Rear-Admiral Palliser, the Commander-in-Chief on the station, and next to him are the Flag Captain, who is directly in charge of the ship, Captain Adair, and Commander Calthorpe, the chief executive officer, an officer specially promoted for war service off the coast of Africa, and the youngest man of his rank in the Navy in 1896. The total number of officers on the Imperieuse was 43, including 5 warrant officers and the midshipmen and cadets, all of whom appear in the illustration above.  

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The Forward Barbette of HMS Imperieuse in 1896

The forward barbette of the Imperieuse is shown with its 22 ton gun protected by a redoubt of thick steel.

The Band of HMS Imperieuse 1896.

The ship's band comprised a bandmaster, band corporal, and fifteen musicians, supplemented by volunteers from the crew, and was practically supported by the officers beyond the £15 to £20 annual allowance from the Admiralty. 

The Company of the Imperieuse in 1896

Exclusive of the commissioned and warrant officers on board, the company of the first-class cruiser Imperieuse numbered in all, including various ratings from petty officers downwards, the seamen, artificers, stokers and marines, upwards of 520 men.  They are shown her on or about the forward barbette, where the bow chaser 22 ton gun of the ship is mounted, in 1896. They were allotted and organised in watches and divisions, each man having his own special station and duty to perform - general quarters for action, fire quarters, collision stations, boarding stations, boat stations, closing watertight door stations and so on. The carrying out of these tasks and the practice and drill in regard to them forms the daily routine of life on board ship in the 1890's. This way each year that the ship remained in commission smartness and efficiency increased as did the fighting value of her crew.

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A 22 Ton Breechloader in the Imperieuse 1896

Here we see one of the four heavy guns carried by the Imperieuse, the 22-ton gun mounted amidships on the port side, on a sponson projecting over the side of the ship so as to be capable of firing nearly right ahead or astern, as well as on the broadside. The 22-ton gun was designed and introduced originally to arm the Imperieuse and her sister ship the Warspite. It was the smallest type of breechloader carried on ships of the 1890's and could penetrate 17 inches of wrought-iron armour at 2,000 yards range. One of these guns fired the "Jubilee Shot" of 1887, which attained a range of 21,800 yards, or nearly 12 miles. Each gun cost at least £5,000 and fired 144lbs of powder as a charge, with a projectile of 380lbs weight - the round costing £33. The gun could fire practically a round a minute, and could be man handled independently of machinery, and loaded in any position.

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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

 The pilot of a Fairey Swordfish MKII guides his aircraft towards the landing ramp of HMS Victorious following a sortie in the Mediterranean Sea 1940

Safe Return by Ivan Berryman.
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In the Vietnam war Squadron VA-163 was stationed aboard the carrier Oriskany on its second cruise, the squadrons A-4 Skyhawks were led by Commander Wynn Foster, one of the navys most aggressive strike leaders, and under Air Wing Commander James Stockdale, the A-4 pilots racked up a formidable record as a top fighting unit.

Alfa-Strike by Nicolas Trudgian. (Y)
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Ground Force by Ivan Berryman. (D)
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 Major Hans-Ekkehard Bob is shown claiming his 5th victory – a Blenheim – 60km west of Rotterdam on 26th June 1940.  Bob went on to serve with JG.54, JG.51, JG.3, EJG2.2 and JV.44, scoring a total of 60 confirmed victories in the course of his Luftwaffe service.  The Blenheim claimed as his 5th victory is likely to have been R3776 of No.110 Squadron, which was the only Blenheim recorded to have been lost participating in Operation Soest on that day - while another returned to base damaged and crash landed.  The three crew of the Blenheim were all missing in action - P/O Cyril Ray Worboys, Sgt Gerald Patterson Gainsford and Sgt Kenneth Cooper.

Ltn. Hans-Ekkehard Bob of JG21 Becomes an Ace by Ivan Berryman. (C)
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The B-17 Flying Fortress 'Memphis Belle' returns from one of her 25 mission over France and Germany.  Memphis Belle, a  B-17F-10-BO, USAAF Serial No.41-24485, was supplied to the USAAF on July 15th 1942, and delivered to the 91st Bomb Group in September 1942  at Dow Field, Bangor, Maine.  Memphis Belle deployed to Scotland at Prestwick on September 30th 1942 and went to RAF Kimbolton on October 1st, and then to her permanent base at Bassingbourn on October 14th.1942.  Memphis Belle was the first United States Army Air Force heavy bomber to complete 25 combat missions with her crew intact.  The aircraft and crew then returned to the United States to promote and sell war bonds.  The Memphis Belle B-17 is undergoing extensive restoration at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

Coming Home by Tim Fisher.
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Shortly after 2.00pm on Friday 24th October 2003, supersonic commercial aviation was brought to a close as three British Airways Concordes touched down within minutes of each other at Londons Heathrow Airport for the last time.  Here, BA Captain Mike Bannister bring G-BOAG  home for the final touchdown.

Concorde - The Final Touchdown by Ivan Berryman.
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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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 When the RAF took delivery of their first Consolidated B.24 Liberators in 1941, aerial cover for trans-Atlantic convoys was strengthened, affording these brave merchant ships a modicum of protection as they forged their slow passage from the US to Britain with vital supplies. 120 Sqn was immediately pressed into this role from their initial base at Nutts Corner in Northern Ireland, before moving to Ballykelly and Reykjavik in Iceland as the U-Boat threat increased. The example shown is a Liberator V of RAF Coastal Command.

The Long Patrol by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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NAVAL PRINTS

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  Type 42 HMS Southampton (D90), Type 22 Beaver (F93), Type 42 Manchester (D95) and Type 21 Amazon (F169) formate during a World cruise on which they visited 17 countries in 9 months.

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HMS Onslaught by Ivan Berryman.
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Westland Wyverns go vertical over HMS Eagle during the Suez Crisis of 1956

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The attack on the Admiral Hipper by HMS Glowworm by Ivan Berryman (Y)
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On 29th and 30th April 1944, while surfaced close to jagged reefs, and Japanese shore guns, the USS Tang rescued 22 downed flyers from Task Force 58s strikes against enemy positions on the islands - This was the largest rescue of airmen by a submarine in the war.  USS Tang (SS-306) would later be sunk by its own torpedo off Formosa, on the 24th of October 1944.

USS Tang, The Life Guard of Truk Atoll by Robert Barbour (AP)
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 The newly converted Command Helicopter Cruiser HMS Blake leaves Grand Harbour Malta at the end of the 1960s.  In the background, the old Submarine Depot ship HMS Forth lies at anchor at the very end of her long career.

HMS Blake by Ivan Berryman.
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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. (AP)
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Swordfish of 825 Sqn led by Lt-Cdr Esmonde begin their heroic attack on the battlescruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen as they make their way up the English Channel from Brest during Operation Cerberus on 12th February 1942.  Although all the aircraft were lost and no significant damage was done to the German fleet, all the pilots were decorated for their bravery and Lt-Cdr Esmonde received the first Fleet Air Arm VC to be awarded, albeit posthumously.  The painting depicts the first wave of Swordfish attacking the Scharnhorst with Gneisenau taking avoiding action in the distance.  A German torpedo boat has turned to confront the attacking aircraft.

Attack on the Scharnhorst by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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MILITARY PRINTS

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Military art print of the Franco-Prussian war showing French Infantry defenders at the fortifications of Champigny.
The Defence of Champigny, November 30th 1870 by Edouard Detaille.
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In the reletive comfort of a stable, two Polish Lancers rest and tend one of their horses.

Lancers in a Stable by Horace Vernet.
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VAR636. 6th Inniskilling Dragoon by Chris Collingwood.
6th Inniskilling Dragoon by Chris Collingwood.
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 At 0620 hours covered by a brief barrage from 1000 guns, Brigadier General Elles in a MkIV called Hilda led his 476 tanks against the impregnable German Hindenburg line at Cambrai.  Supported by 6 infantry divisions and 4 Royal Flying Corps squadrons flying ground attack missions, the attack had broken through 3 trench lines and penetrated 5 miles on a 6 mile front by lunchtime.  Although these gains were not exploited and later retaken by a German counter offensive, Cambrai showed the full potential of the tank on the battlefield.

To the Green Fields Beyond, Cambrai, France, 20th November 1917 by David Pentland. (GL)
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 King Tigers of Kampfgruppe von Rosen, 3rd Company Heavy Tank Battalion 503, preparing to move out from the Tisza bridgehead to counter Soviet pressure on German forces attacking to the northwest at Debrecen during the first battles to defend the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

Tigers in the Mist by David Pentland.
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 The Black Watch advance up the slopes of the hills overlooking the River Alma, defeating the Russian defenders. A British Victory in the Crimean Campaign.

Alma Forward the 42nd by Robert Gibb. (Y)
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Commissioned by 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery in 1997. Fire mission by 105mm Light Gun onto Westdown Range.
Commando Gunners by Scott Kirkwood.
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 Captain McCabe is mortally wounded as he leads a successful sortie against rebel guns bombarding the residency at Lucknow

Captain Burnard McCabe VC of the 32nd by William Barnes Wollen.
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SPORT PRINTS

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 A great tribute to one of the all time greats in golf who will be sadly missed.

Seve Ballesteros by Peter Deighan. (Y)
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 Depicting Englands emphatic 1995 grand slam victory.

1995 Grand Slam by Scott Bridges. (Y)
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SPC5002. Jeremy Guscott by Robert Highton.

Jeremy Guscott by Robert Highton.
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In the final moments of extra time of the game, the England number 10, Jonny Wilkinson slotted a perfect drop goal which clinched victory over Australia, winning 20 points to 17. 

Rugby World Cup Final 2003 by David Pentland.
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Europe 18.5 - 9.5 USA.  The K Club, Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland, 22-24 September 2006. <br><br>Europe; Ian Woosnam - captain - Colin Montgomerie, Darren Clarke, Luke Donald, David Howell, Sergio Garcia, Paul McGinley, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey, Jose Maria Olazabel, Robert Karlsson, Padraig Harrington, Henrik Stenson. <br><br>USA; Tom Lehman - captain - Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, JJ Henry, David Tomms, Brett Wetterick, Stewart Cink, Jim Furyk, Chad Campbell, Chris DiMarco, Vaughan Taylor, Zach Johnson, Scott Verplank.
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Monte Carlo - June 1st 2003 and Juan Pablo Montoya put in an outstanding drive, pushing his Williams BMW to victory in the Monaco Grand Prix. His triumph in what is possibly the most prestigious race of the season allowed him to celebrate his first win since Italy in 2001.

Harbour Master by Gerald Coulson. (Y)
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B40. Jean Alesi/ Benetton B.196

Jean Alesi/ Benetton B.196 by Ivan Berryman
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 On three occasions since their last Grand Slam in 1995 the England team had come within a whisker of completing another dream.  During this important build up towards the world cup England finally laid their ghost to rest.  After six years under the guidance of Head Coach Clive Woodward England, having beaten the big three from the Southern Hemisphere in a back-to-back series of matches at Twickenham, reached number one in the Zurich world ranking.  This Grand Slam, a wonderful achievement in itself, underlined Englands worldwide dominance.

2003 Grand Slam by James Owen. (Y)
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