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History of the merged company Vosper Thornycroft and of the shipbuilders Vosper and Thornycroft prior to the merger.  The history of the company from the first ships built to the most recent orders.  Contributed by Trevor Piper of Vosper Thornycroft.

VOSPER THORNYCROFT

This well established Company, known for the high quality of their products, was formed in 1966 with the joining of two very different shipbuilding companies, Vosper Ltd of Portsmouth, famous for high speed craft and motor torpedo boats, and JI Thornycroft of Southampton, mainly noted for Destroyer building. The merged Company survived the trauma of being nationalised by the Labour Government in the mid 1970’s when it became a division of British Shipbuilders, and returned to the commercial sector with a management buyout in late 1985. The Company has never looked back since privatisation and has continued to flourish during the lean periods of warship building, mainly through intensive and successful sales efforts for export and diversification outside of its core shipbuilding business into the training and support areas.

Herbert Edward Vosper set up his Company, Vosper & Co when he was only 21 in 1871 at Camber, a small commercial dock on the east side of the entrance to Portsmouth harbour. The main work of the Company during the early years was largely in the refitting and repair of coastal vessels. The soon prosperous company began producing their own range of steam reciprocating engines which were fitted into all types of craft, including yachts, tugs, tenders and launches, for the Admiralty and for export. One of the first vessels that the Company built was the tug Hercules for the Shoreham Harbour Authority. Vosper & Co. proved to be an early pioneer of the internal combustion engine, developing vaporising paraffin and crude oil engines.

In the early days, the Company was not known as a builder of high speed craft, but mainly for the reliability and strength of their products. It had a wide range of skills and capacities, being able to design, develop and build its own hulls in steel and in wood, engines, boilers and associated machinery, in fact the whole ship. Well into the 20th Century, they were still listed as Engineers and Boiler makers. The Great War saw a rapid expansion of the company’s activities, but with the cessation of hostilities in late 1918 Vosper existed mainly on refit work. A major contract at that time was the virtual rebuild of Captain Scott’s Discovery for a further Antarctic expedition. Herbert Vosper retired in 1919, and died in 1934.

Vosper & Co’s fortunes changed when Commander Du Cane became managing director in 1931.The Company then concentrated on high speed craft, including yachts, tenders and racing boats. Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Bluebird II was built by the company and took the world water speed record at 141.7mph in August 1939. In 1936, Vosper & Co. became a public company and changed its name to Vosper Ltd, and a second yard was purchased at Flathouse on the north side of Portsmouth Dockyard. This yard was later compulsorily purchased by the Admiralty and a new site established at Porchester which is still in use today. Commander Du Cane built as a private venture a 68ft motor torpedo boat, which achieved 48 knots on trials. The Admiralty then purchased this boat and commissioned it as MTB102. The boat still survives today in working order preserved in the Norwich area. MTB102 was the prototype for a further 350 boats built at home and abroad by Vosper’s during WWII and gained the Company a deserved reputation as a provider of well built and reliable fast attack craft. In 1939 came a novel order from the Admiralty to build and deliver a new barge for the Royal Yacht Victoria & Albert. In 1938 Vosper began to develop a new generation of motor torpedo boats, which laid the foundations for the company’s later concentration on small high speed warships, mainly using the un-stepped planning hull design. To power these boats, Vosper obtained a licence to manufacture the Italian Isotta Franschini engine, later developed to produce nearly 1500hp. When the supply of these engines became difficult due to the war, Packard engines were fitted. At the end of the war, Vosper had amassed a great deal of expertise and experience relating to all aspects of high speed craft, the only problem was how to apply this experience to a deflated post war market.

The 73ft MTB1601 was built in 1948, and incorporated a number of novel Vosper ideas including a modified hull form with a higher chine and deeper V section hull, and controllable pitch propellers with direct drive. The vessel originally had no gearboxes, but was later refitted with fixed pitch propellers and reversing gearboxes on which she achieved 43knots on trials. This hull design became the basis for later Vosper designs including the Brave Class fast patrol boats. Vosper’s were then selected to pioneer the installation of marine gas turbines with the fitting of a Rolls Royce RM60 into the former steam gunboat HMS Grey Goose. This installation was swiftly followed by the building of the two Bold Class vessels fitted with Metro-Vickers G2 gas turbines. Despite this work, there was not the volume or profit to sustain the company, and there is no doubt that without the intervention of the Korean War which led to an emergency construction programme of fast patrol boats, Vosper Ltd as a company would probably have ceased trading.

The 1950’s saw the building of the Brave Class powered by the Bristol Siddeley Proteus gas turbine using super cavitating propellers developed in the Vosper’s cavitation tunnel at Porchester. Later developments of this design led to speeds of up to 58knots being achievable. In 1958, the controlling shares in Vosper Ltd were purchased by the Mineral Separation Company which provided the financial support needed to sustain the Company into the 1960’s, during which time a number of larger twin and triple screw fast patrols boats were built for the German, Danish, Malaysian, Brunei and Libyan Navies. The Company also designed and built even larger corvettes and fast patrol boats for Ghana, Peru, and Singapore, four or which came from the Singapore shipyard. This was a profitable time for the company, and in 1963 the controlling interest was purchased by the David Brown Corporation. In 1965, the Vosper design team in collaboration with Vickers, completed the design of its first frigate known as the MK 5. This ship would displace 1300tons and be capable of 40 knots, however the ship could not be built at any of the current Vosper facilities, but in the event the strong financial position of the Company allowed a merger with JI Thornycroft of Southampton. This merger provided the larger building capacity required for Vosper’s to expand.

JI Thornycroft built his first vessel at Chiswick on the River Thames in the late 1800’s, and was a pioneer in the production of high speed vessels. Thornycroft specialised in the development of fast steam powered torpedo boats and destroyers achieving speeds that were previously considered unobtainable by many leading architects. The main

JI Thornycroft shipyard was established on the side of the River Itchen at Woolston Southampton and has continued to serve the company well until the new modular shipbuilding facility in Portsmouth Dockyard was constructed in 2003. The Woolston shipyard was always one of Southampton’s major employers, and delivered its first ship to the Royal Navy, HMS Tartar in 1906. The yard had several slips, but the width of the River Itchen limited the length of the ship built to that of a large destroyer. In the period up to the start of the Great War, Thornycroft’s built 37 destroyers for the RN alone, and several more for export.

There has always been a saying in the Royal Navy that if you were serving on a Thornycroft built ship then you were serving on a well built and sound vessel. Many a famous ship has been built at Woolston, and they proved to be well able to take serious damage and still survive to fight another day. During the First World War, Thornycroft built 26 destroyers, 3 submarines, and a huge number of coastal motor boats and fast launches all powered by petrol engines and able to carry torpedoes.

After the Great War, despite the dramatic rundown in the size of the Royal Navy, the company survived and continued to build destroyer sized warships both for the Admiralty and for export, and benefited from the large shipbuilding programmes of the late 1930’s as Britain once again geared up for war. The Woolston shipyard was bombed and damaged several times during the Blitz, probably because the Supermarine Spitfire factory was the next industrial facility upriver and Southampton was a major port. Certainly, the air raids became less frequent when the Spitfire factory was burnt out and aircraft production transferred to outlying sites. Thornycroft built a huge and diverse number of ships during the war from minelayers, destroyers and corvettes, to landing craft and RAF rescue launches. The company also designed and built the improved Hunt Class destroyers Bissenden and Brecon which corrected the stability problems experienced by the original design.

Once again with the run down of the Royal Navy after 1945, Thornycroft reverted to what can only be called lean production, with work being confined to building tugs, ferries, launches and barges, with the occasional naval order to be completed. The company launched the Weapons Class destroyer Crossbow in 1946, and the Daring Class destroyer Duchess in 1951. The Korean War provided a respite, with the building of 10 Ton class wooden minesweepers and three frigates. The Type 12 frigate HMNZS Otago was delivered in 1960, by which time naval orders were once again scarce. One of the problems which Thornycroft experienced at this time was the lack of weapons expertise within the company, all weapons dealings were with Vickers, who were also competing in the same market for falling orders, and who naturally would promote their own shipbuilding division. The Tribal Class general purpose frigate Gurkha was delivered to the RN in 1963 and the Leander Class frigate Juno laid down in 1964. The minelayer HMS Abdiel followed in 1965 along with 2 78ft patrol boats for Kuwait. These were lean times for the company, but the Board wisely invested in the future of the company by continually improving the Woolston facility with the extension on the quays and other facilities, and closed the loss making yard on the Thames.

The company also instigated what was to be a far sighted study into the feasibility of producing a Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) hull. Although the company had a huge range of capabilities and engineering skills, its profit margins were low, and it was open to a hostile take over, so the approach from Vosper to merge the two companies’ gave them both a lifeline and outlets to succeed. In early 1966 they joined forces, but both companies’s continued to trade under their original names until June 1970 when the title Vosper Thornycroft (VT) was adopted. The new expanded company became very vigorous in the export market, with salesmen travelling the world to secure shipbuilding contracts for the company. Orders were realised for a corvette and a support ship for Libya, three fast patrol craft for Kenya, and a large order of 18 patrol craft for Malaysia.

VT were also very successful in selling warships to the Shah of Iran, beginning with the refitting and updating on the ex RN Battle Class destroyer HMS Sluys to be renamed Artemiz. This work was followed by the order of 4 Mark 5 frigates, two of which were built by Vickers to share the financial and construction risk. These innovative heavily armed steel ships employed a CODAG propulsion system with RR Olympus gas turbines capable of driving the vessels at 40 knots using super cavitating propellers.

This order was followed early in 1968 with a slightly larger Mk 7 Frigate for Libya. In 1967, a design for the replacement of the successful Leander Class was urgently required, but resource problems within the MoD meant that the ship could not be designed in-house, so VT in partnership with Yarrows on the Clyde submitted a proposal for a 3000ton Frigate that was to become the Type 21. The joint bid was successful, and the Woolston shipyard built the first of class HMS Amazon. The hull was built of steel and the superstructure of aluminium; this was later to cause controversy when Antelope and Ardent were lost in the Falklands war. HMS Amazon had the distinction of being the first class of ship to go to sea with the now ubiquitous RR Tyne and Olympus machinery combination. This was an innovative power plant at the time, and had in fact been scheduled to first go the sea in the Type 42 Destroyer HMS Sheffield, but the Vickers ship was late in delivery. A further two Type 21’s were built at Woolston, Antelope and Active, with the remaining 5 built at Yarrows. In early 1970, the Brazilian Navy issued a requirement for up to six new Frigates, and the VT design, the Mk 10 was based on an enlarged Type 21. The bid was accepted and the contract signed in September 1970. Four would be built at Woolston and two in Brazil with assistance and technology transfer from VT. A new covered shipbuilding facility was built at Woolston to help complete this prestigious order.

The Porchester yard was also busy at this time, delivering two 110ft steel patrol boats to Singapore, with another two of the class being built at the Company’s Singapore yard. The Royal Navy received the fast training boats HMS Scimitar, Cutlass and Sabre, and Nigeria had two Mk 3 Frigates. Also in 1970, two 103ft patrol boats were built for Panama and two more went to Trinidad.

In 1974, the newly elected Labour government introduced a bill to nationalise the shipbuilding industry. After a long hard fought battle against the bill, mainly from the warship builders, the Company was nationalised on 1July 1977, and became a division of British Shipbuilders. Aside from the bureaucratic interference, many people felt the VT in the prosperous south would be sacrificed for those shipbuilding concerns in the north of the country. Luckily this fear proved unfounded. VT did however secure an early export order from Egypt for six 52m Ramadan class patrol boats. The Woolston yard received orders for three Type 42 Destroyers, HMS Southampton, Nottingham and Gloucester, the later proving to be the last large steel ship to built at Woolston until the Trimaran Triton was launched in 2000. In 1982, the production of the Hunt Class GRP Minehunters was in full swing, with eleven of the class of thirteen constructed by VT. The Woolston shipyard was heavily tasked during the Falklands crisis in the conversion of the Liners Canberra and QE2 into troopships. This work mainly involved the fitting of helicopter decks and refuelling at sea equipment, and required working in substantial reinforcing steelwork to support the heavy helicopter decks high up on the liners aluminium superstructures. This work was accomplished in record time, reflecting the pride, experience and expertise available in the Company. Vosper Thornycroft were also asked by the MoD to undertake a study into what form the next generation of Minehunter should take. This ship eventually materialised into the Single Role Minehunter (SRMH) Sandown Class. VT also secured some welcome steel ship work at this time with the refit of three ex RN Tribal Class frigates for Indonesia.           

The first SRMH, HMS Sandown was handed over in 1989, and in addition to the other RN ships, VT also built three more for Saudi Arabia under the enormous BAE Systems Al Yamamah contract.  At least the GRP facility was busy, but major steel ship work still eluded the Company despite extensive sales efforts. By 1992 work was again scarce, and a further 350 redundancies were declared. Later that year however the sales team had success with the sale of two 83m corvettes for the Government of Oman. This was immediately followed by an order for four 56m strike craft for the State of Qatar, and in 1994, the RN ordered a second batch of seven SRMH. After several years of promoting innovative warship designs, including the revolutionary Sea Wraith stealth ship, VT were awarded a contract to build the Trimaran demonstrator RV Triton. This advanced ship was launched in May 2000. Modular construction techniques enabled Triton to be launched almost 97% complete. In late 1999, VT secured a major export order against strong opposition to design and support the construction of a number of 62m Super Vita fast attack craft for Greece at the Elefis Shipyard near Athens for the Hellenic Navy. As part of this innovative contract, VT transferred shipbuilding technology and supplied two ex Royal Navy Hunt Class Minehunters

In Early 2000, the Company was selected as prime contractor for a £100m order to supply two new survey vessels for the Royal Navy, to be named Enterprise and Echo. Capacity issues at the Woolston yard led to build of these two ships being sub-contracted to the Appeldore Shipyard in Devon. In a completely innovative move, VT formulated an unsolicited bid to the UK Government to replace the five Island Class OPV’s with three new leased River Class vessels that would be guaranteed available to the RN for up to 300 days per year. The package includes whole life support, and the option for the RN to purchase the vessels at the end of the 5 year lease or return the vessels to VT. The last of these three ships, HMS Mersey launched on 25 June 2003, turned out to be the final steel ship to be constructed at Woolston. The prospect of major large steel ship work retuned to the Company when it was announced in July 2000 that VT was to share in the construction programme of the new Type 45 Destroyers for the RN. After careful consideration of the continued viability of the Woolston shipyard, it was decided to move the shipbuilding facility from Woolston to a new purpose built shipyard in Portsmouth Dockyard the land for which was secured on a 125 year lease. This yard is one of the most modern shipbuilding facilities in the world, and the first steel was cut for HMS Daring in late October 2003. The construction of this new shipbuilding facility proved to be doubly important, as in early 2003, the Government announced that VT will share in building mega-blocks for the two new Aircraft Carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. These substantial contracts will ensure that warship building will continue on the south coast until at least the year 2020. 

We would like to thank again, Trevor Piper for his contribution to our site.

List of VI Thornycroft Built Ships

Ser Name Type Class Launched Fate
           
1 Ardent Destroyer A Class Turtle-Backs 1894 Scrapped 1911
2 Boxer Destroyer A Class Turtle-Backs 28.11.84 Sunk in collision in Channel 8.2.18
3 Bruiser Destroyer A Class Turtle-Backs 1885 Scrapped 1914
4 Daring Destroyer A Class Turtle-Backs 1893 Scrapped 1912
5 Decoy Destroyer A Class Turtle-Backs 1894 Sunk by collision off Scily Islands  1904
6 Albatross Destroyer C Class Turtle-Backs 1898 Scrapped 1920
7 Angler Destroyer D Class Turtle-Backs 1896 Scrapped 1920
8 Ariel Destroyer D Class Turtle-Backs 1897 Wrecked off Malta 1907
9 Coquette Destroyer D Class Turtle-Backs 1898 Mined in North Sea 7.3.16
10 Cygnet Destroyer D Class Turtle-Backs 1898 Scrapped 1920
11 Cynthia Destroyer D Class Turtle-Backs 1898 Scrapped 1920
12 Desperate Destroyer D Class Turtle-Backs 1895 Scrapped 1920
13 Fame Destroyer D Class Turtle-Backs 1896 Scrapped Hong Kong 1921
14 Foam Destroyer D Class Turtle-Backs 1896 Scrapped 1914
15 Mallard Destroyer D Class Turtle-Backs 1896 Scrapped 1920
16 Stag Destroyer D Class Turtle-Backs 1899 Scrapped 1921
17 Chelmer Destroyer River Class 1904 Scrapped 1920
18 Colne Destroyer River Class 1905 Scrapped 1919
19 Jed Destroyer River Class 1904 Scrapped 1920
20 Kennet Destroyer River Class 1903 Scrapped 1919
21 Amazon Destroyer F Tribal Class 1908 Scrapped 1919
22 Nubian Destroyer F Tribal Class 20.4.09 Torpedoed off Folkstone 27.10.16. Joined with Zulu and called Zubian
23 Tartar Destroyer F Tribal Class 1907 Scrapped 1921
24 Savage Destroyer G Basilisk class 1910 Scrapped 1921
25 Larne Destroyer H Class 1910 Scrapped 1921
26 Lyra Destroyer H Class 1910 Scrapped 1921
27 Martin Destroyer H Class 1910 Scrapped 1920
28 Minstrel Destroyer H Class To Japan 1917-19 1911 Scrapped 1921
29 Acheron Destroyer I Acheron Class 1911 Scrapped 1921
30 Ariel Destroyer I Acheron Class 26.9.11 Mined in North sea 2.08.18
31 Hardy Destroyer K Acasta Class 1912 Scrapped 1921
32 Paragon Destroyer K Acasta Class 21.2.13 Torpedeoed in Dover Straits 18.3.17
33 Porpoise Destroyer K Acasta Class 1913 Brazilian Maranhao 1920
34 Unity Destroyer K Acasta Class 1913 Scrapped 1922
35 Victor Destroyer K Acasta Class 1913 Scrapped 1923
36 Lance Destroyer L Class 1914 Scrapped 1921
37 Lookout Destroyer L Class 1914 Scrapped 1922
38 Micheal Destroyer M Class 1915 Scrapped 1921
39 Millbrook Destroyer M Class 1915 Scrapped 1921
40 Minion Destroyer M Class 1915 Scrapped 1921
41 Nepean Destroyer M Class 1916 Scrapped 1921
42 Nereus Destroyer M Class 1916 Scrapped 1921
43 Mastiff Destroyer Thornycroft M type 1914 Scrapped 1921
44 Meteor Destroyer Thornycroft M type 1914 Scrapped 1921
45 Patrician Destroyer Thornycroft M type 1916 To Canada 1920. Drillship 1928
46 Patriot Destroyer Thornycroft M type 1916 To Canada 1920. Drillship 1928
47 Rapid Destroyer Thornycroft M type 1916 Scrapped 1927
48 Ready Destroyer Thornycroft M type 1916 Scrapped 1926
49 Radiant Destroyer Thornycroft R Type 1917 Siamese Phra Ruang 1920
50 Retriever Destroyer Thornycroft R Type 1917 Scrapped 1927
51 Rosalind Destroyer Thornycroft R Type 1916 Scrapped 1926
52 Taurus Destroyer Thornycroft R Type 1917 Scrapped 1930
53 Teazer Destroyer Thornycroft R Type 1917 Scrapped 1931
54 Speedy Destroyer Thornycroft S Type 1918 Sunk in Sea of Marmora 1922
55 Tobago Destroyer Thornycroft S Type 1918 Mined in Black sea 1922
56 Torbay Destroyer Thornycroft S Type 1918 RCN Champlain 1928. Scrapped 1936
57 Toreador Destroyer Thornycroft S Type 1918 RCN Vancouver 1928. Scrapped 1936
58 Tourmaline Destroyer Thornycroft S Type 1918 Scrapped 1931
59 Viceroy Destroyer Thornycroft V Class 17.11.17 Scrapped 1946
60 Viscount Destroyer Thornycroft V Class 1918 Scrapped 1945
61 Shakespeare Destroyer Thornycroft Type Leaders 1917 Scrapped 1936
62 Spencer Destroyer Thornycroft Type Leaders 1917 Scrapped 1936
63 Wallace Destroyer Thornycroft Type Leaders 1919 Scrapped 1945
64 Woolston Destroyer Thornycroft W Class 27.1.18 Scrapped 1946
65 Wolsey Destroyer Thornycroft W Class 16.3.18 Scrapped 1946
66 Wishart Destroyer Thornycroft Modified W Class 18.7.19 Scrapped Forth 1946
67 Witch Destroyer Thornycroft Modified W Class 11.11.19 Scrapped Rosyth 1946
68 Keppel Destroyer Shakespeare Class 23.4.20 Scrapped Barrow 1946
69 Broke Destroyer Shakespeare Class 16.9.20 Damaged by gunfire at Algiers 7.11.42, and foundered the next day
70 Wallace Destroyer Shakespeare Class 26.10.18 Scrapped Dunston 20.3.45
71 Amazon Destroyer Prototype 27.1.26 Scrapped Troon 25.10.48
72 Acheron Destroyer A Class 18.3.30 Mined of the Isle of wight 17.2.40
73 Saguenay Destroyer A Class  RCN 11.7.30 Scrapped 30.6.45
74 Skeena Destroyer A Class  RCN 10.10.30 Grounded at Iceland 25.10.44. Refloated and scrapped June 1945
75 Daring Destroyer D Class 7.4.32 Torpedoed by U23 off Duncansby Head 18.2.40
76 Decoy Destroyer D Class To RCN Kootenay 7.6.32 Scrapped 28.1.46
77 Harrier Minesweeper Halcyon 17.4.34 Scrapped Gateshead 6.6 50
78 Glowworm Destroyer G Class 22.7.35 Sunk by gunfire of Admiral Hipper off Norway 8.4.40
79 Grafton Destroyer G Class 18.9.35 Torpedoed off Dunkirk, and sunk by RN Ivanhoe 29.5.40
80 Kittywake Destroyer Kingfisher Class 30.11.36 Mercantile Tuch Sing 1946
81 Shelldrake Destroyer Kingfisher Class 28.1.37 Mercantile Tuch Loon 1946
82 Mowhawk Destroyer Tribal Class 5.10.37 Torpedoed by Italian Destroyer Tarigo, and sunk by RN Janus 16.4.41
83 Jason Minesweeper Halcyon Mercantile Jaslock1946 6.10.37 Scrapped Grays 1950
84 Nubian Destroyer Tribal Class 21.12.37 Scrapped Briton Ferry 11.6.49
85 Franklin Minesweeper Halcyon 22.12.37 Scrapped Dunston 1956
86 Pelican Destroyer Egret 12.9.38 Scrapped Preston 29.11.58
87 Kashmir Destroyer K Class 4.4.39 Bombed by German aircraft south of Crete 23.5.41
88 Kimberley Destroyer K Class 1.6.39 Scrapped Troon 30.3.49
89 Hearty Destroyer Ex Brazil 1.8.39 Hesperous 1940. Scrapped Grange
90 Highlander Destroyer Ex Brazil 17.10.39 Scrapped Rosyth 27.5.46
91 Latona Minelayer Abdiel Class Fast Minelayer 20.08.40 Bombed and sunk off Tripoli 25.10.41
92 Norman Destroyer N Class TO RAN 1941-45 30.10.40 Scrapped Newport 4.58
93 Lauderdale Destroyer Hunt Class Type 2 5.8.41 RHN Aigaion 1946
94 Ledbury Destroyer Hunt Class Type 2 27.9.41 Scrapped Rosyth 4.58
95 Norseman Destroyer N Class  (Nepal 1942) 4.12.41 Scrapped Briton Ferry 1.56
96 Orwell Destroyer O Class 2.4.42 Type 16 A/S Conversion. Scrapped
97 Opportune Destroyer O Class 21.4.42 Scrapped Milford Haven 25.11.55
98 Brecon Destroyer Improved Hunt Class 27.6.42 Scrapped
99 Brissenden Destroyer Improved Hunt Class 15.9.42 Scrapped
100 Narabada Frigate Black Swan Class RIN 21.11.42 To RPN Jhelum 1948
101 Godarvari Frigate Black Swan Class RIN 21.1.43 To RPN Sind 1948
102 Magpie Frigate Modified Black Swan Class 24.3.43 Scrapped Blyth 12.7.59
103 Undine Destroyer U Class 1.6.43 Type 15 A/S conversion. Scrapped
104 Ursa Destroyer U Class 22.7.43 Type 15 A/S conversion. Scrapped
105 Zest Destroyer Z Class 14.10.43 Type 15 A/S conversion. Scrapped
106 Peacock Frigate Modified Black Swan Class 11.12.43 Scrapped Rosyth 7.5.58
107 Zodiac Destroyer Z Class 11.3.44 To Israel Yaffa 1955
108 Chaplet Destroyer C Class 18.7.44  
109 Charity Destroyer C Class 30.11.44 RPN 1958 Shah Jehan
110 Comus Destroyer C Class 14.3.45 Scrapped Newport 12.11.58
111 Concord Destroyer C Class 14.5.45 Scrapped
112 Actaeon Frigate Modified Black Swan Class 25.7.45 West German Hipper 1958
113 Crossbow Destroyer Weapons Class 20.12.45 Scrapped
114 Duchess Destroyer Daring Class 9.4.51 RAN 1964
115 Alcaston Minesweeper Ton Class Minesweeper 5.1.53 Ex Alcaston
116 Highburton Minesweeper Ton Class Minesweeper 2.6.54 Scrapped
117 Hickleton Minesweeper Ton Class Minesweeper 26.1.55 Scrapped
118 Blaxton Minesweeper Ton Class Minesweeper 21.6.55 Scrapped
119 Bossington Minesweeper Ton Class Minesweeper 2.12.55 Scrapped
120 Blackwood Frigate Type 14 4.10.55 Scrapped
120 Upton Minesweeper Ton Class Minesweeper 15.3.56 Scrapped
121 Walkerton Minesweeper Ton Class Minesweeper 21.11.56 Scrapped
122 Duncan Frigate Type 14 30.5.57 Scrapped
123 Crofton Minesweeper Ton Class Minesweeper 3.58 Scrapped
124 Otago Frigate Type 12 11.12.58 RNZN. Scrapped
125 Gurkha Frigate Type 81 11.7.60 Indonesia 1985
126 Juno Frigate Leander 17.8.65 Scrapped
127 Abdiel Mine layer Abdiel Class 27.01.67 Scrapped
128 Amazon Frigate Type 21 26.4.71 Sold to Pakistan
129 Antelope Frigate Type 21

19.7.75

Sunk San Calos Sound FI 24.5.82
130 Active Frigate Type 21 23.11.72 Sold to Pakistan
131 Brecon Minehunter Hunt Class 21.01.78 In service
132 Southampton Destroyer Batch 2 Type 42 29.01.79 In service
133 Ledbury Minehunter Hunt Class 05.12.79 In service
134 Nottingham Destroyer Batch 2 Type 42 12.02.80 In service
135 Cattistock Minehunter Hunt Class 22.01.81 In service
136 Brocklesby Minehunter Hunt Class 12.01.82 In service
137 Gloucester Destroyer Batch 3 Streched Type 42 2.11.82 In service
138 Dulverton Minehunter Hunt Class 3.11.82 In service
139 Chiddingfold Minehunter Hunt Class 6.10.83 In service
140 Hurworth Minehunter Hunt Class 25.09.84 In service
141 Bicester Minehunter Hunt Class 1.06.85 In service
142 Atherstone Minehunter Hunt Class 1.03.86 In service
143 Berkeley Minehunter Hunt Class 3.12.86 In service
144 Quorn Minehunter Hunt Class 23.01.88 In service
145 Sandown Minehunter Sandown Class SRMH 18.4.88 In service
146 Inverness Minehunter Sandown Class SRMH 29.02.90 In service
147 Cromer Minehunter Sandown Class SRMH 30.10.90 Static Training Ship BRNC Dartmouth
148 Walney Minehunter Sandown Class SRMH 25.11.91 In service
149 Bridport Minehunter Sandown Class SRMH 30.07.92 In service
150 Penzance Minehunter Sandown Class SRMH 11.03.97 In service
151 Pembroke Minehunter Sandown Class SRMH 12.12.97 In service
152 Grimsby Minehunter Sandown Class SRMH 10.08.98 In service
154 Bangor Minehunter Sandown Class SRMH 16.04.99 In service
155 Ramsey Minehunter Sandown Class SRMH 25.11.99 In service
156 Triton Trials Ship Trimaran Demonstrator 4.05.00 Trials Ship for Trimaran hull design.
157 Blyth Minehunter Sandown Class SRMH 4.07.00 In service
158 Shoreham Minehunter Sandown Class SRMH 9.04.01 In service
 

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Valley Forge Fly-By by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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B20.  Red Arrows Break Left by Ivan Berryman.

Red Arrows Break Left by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £50.00

 Special Forces Lynx 657 Squadron Army Air Corps and Chinooks from 7 Squadron Royal Air Force in direct fire support to the United Kingdom Special Forces hostage rescue mission in Sierra Leone

Operation Barras, 10th September 2000 by David Rowlands (GL)
Half Price! - £280.00
 Routine, though essential, maintenance is carried out on a 501 Sqn Hurricane at the height of the Battle of Britain during the Summer of 1940.  Hurricane P3059 <i>SD-N</i> in the background is the aircraft of Group Captain Byron Duckenfield.

Ground Force by Ivan Berryman. (B)
Half Price! - £85.00
 A moment during the fraught encounter on 27th May 1940 over Dunkirk between Spitfires of 610 Sqn and an estimated 40 Bf.110s during which three Zerstorers were shot down.

A Dunkirk Encounter by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £270.00
 After service in the 96th Infantry Regiment, Smirnov joined the XIX Corps Air Squadron in 1914, shooting down twelve enemy aircraft in the course of two years. When revolution swept through Russia in November 1917, he escaped the Bolsheviks via a White counter-revolutionary route, eventually joining the RAF in England, serving at the Central Flying School at Upavon. He is shown here in his silver Nieuport 17, having just despatched a Roland C.II.

Captain Ivan Smirnov by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £40.00

 

NAVAL PRINTS

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

Some Current Half Price Naval Art Offers

 A splendid little war was how John Hay, ambassador to Britain, described the Spanish-American war of 1898. Though the war was small in scope it was large in consequences; it promoted the regeneration of the American Navy and the emergence of the United States as a major world power. Fought primarily at sea, the war created an American naval legend in its opening encounter between the pacific squadrons of Spain and the United States at Manila Bay on the 1st of May 1898. At sunrise Admiral Dewey, leading the American fleet in his flagship the USS Olympia, had caught the Spanish fleet, under Admiral Patricio Montojo, by surprise - still anchored off Sangley Point at Manila Bay in the Philippine Islands. Defeat for the Spanish was total and heralded the end of a once extensive Spanish empire in the Americas. Montojos flagship, Reina Cristina, is seen here under fire from the Olympia.

The Battle of Manila Bay by Anthony Saunders (Y)
Half Price! - £62.50
 The destroyer HMS Kelly passes close to the old carrier HMS Eagle as she escorts a convoy in the Mediterranean early in 1941.

HMS Kelly by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £15.00
B103.  HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Warspite departing Malta by Ivan Berryman.

HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Warspite departing Malta by Ivan Berryman
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Originally constructed as a Home Fleet Repair Ship, HMS Cyclops was later converted into a submarine depot ship and enjoyed a long career, both in the Mediterranean and in home waters.  Here she prepares to receive HMS Sceptre.  Another S-class submarine is already tethered alongside.

HMS Cyclops Prepares to Receive HMS Sceptre by Ivan Berryman (AP)
Half Price! - £45.00

 The greatest naval battle of the First World War took place on the 31st of May and the 1st of June 1916, near the Danish province of Jutland.  It was the first and only sea battle between the British and German fleets, and certainly proved to be the clash of the Titans that the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, had long planned.  Decisive victory was claimed by both sides, but, desperately fought though it was, the outcome was indecisive.  The Royal Navy suffered higher losses in both men and ships, but the German fleet never ventured out of harbour to seek battle again.  During the daylight fighting HMS Barham, under Rear Admiral Evan-Thomas, lead the 5th Battle Squadron (Valiant, Warspite and Malaya) and is seen here at 4.50pm exchanging with Hippers battle-cruisers to the south.

HMS Barham leads the 5th Battle Squadon at Jutland by Anthony Saunders.
Half Price! - £105.00
 HMS Norfolk and HMS Belfast of Force I are shown engaging the Scharnhorst which has already been hit and disabled by both HMS Duke of York and the cruiser HMS Jamaica.  Scharnhorst was never to escape the clutches of the British and Norwegian forces for, having been slowed to just a few knots by numerous hits, fell victim to repeated torpedo attacks by the allied cruisers and destroyers that had trapped the German marauder.

HMS Norfolk at the Battle of the North Cape by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £15.00
In the spring of 1942, USS Washington was the first of Americas fast battleship fleet to participate in combat operations when she was briefly assigned to the Royal Navy. On 28th June 1942, together with HMS Duke of York, HMS Victorious and an accompanying cruiser and destroyer force, she formed part of the distant covering force to convoy PQ17, bound for Russia. In the Pacific later that same year, she became the only modern US battleship to engage an enemy capital ship, sinking the Japanese battlecruiser Kirishima.

Arctic guardian - USS Washington by Anthony Saunders (P)
Half Price! - £3000.00
USS Missouri and HMS King George V head south to Tokyo for the surrender, after completing the last shore bombardment of mainland Japan, 1945.

Setting of the Sun by Randall Wilson.
Half Price! - £35.00

 

MILITARY PRINTS

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

Some Current Half Price Military Art Offers

DHM341B. The Battle of Beda Fomm  by David Rowlands.

The Battle of Beda Fomm by David Rowlands (B)
Half Price! - £20.00
 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)
Half Price! - £300.00
So Tell The Spartans, Stranger passing by that here, Obedient to their laws, we lie.   In 480 BC the Spartans tried to defend the pass at Thermopylae against the Persians led by Xerxes.  The Persian fleet had sailed along the coastline from northern Greece into the Gulf of Malia on the eastern Aegean Sea towards the mountains at Thermopylae. The Greek General and King Leonidas led the Greeks  and tried to defend the pass of Thermopylae.  All the defending Spartans were killed during the Battle of Thermopylae. Their defence and courage provided inspiration to the Greeks, and the following year the Greeks won battles against their old enemy the Persians.

Thermopylae 480BC, Spartan and Thespaian Hoplites. By Chris Collingwood.
Half Price! - £85.00
The American Civil War saw not only the split between north and south but also even between family members.
Brother Against Brother by Chris Collingwood.
Half Price! - £85.00

 There is no retreat from here, men! said General Sir Colin Campbell (who at that moment may have said to have commanded the regiment in person) as he cantered along the front of the 93rd You must die where you stand To which some of the Highlanders replied cheerily Ay Ay, Sir Colin if needs be well do that. Nearer and nearer the Russian Squadrons approached - the ground trembling beneath their horses feet, and gathering speed at every stride, they galloped on towards that thin red streak, topped with steel the Sutherland Highlanders awaited the onslaught of the enemys horsemen in line, without a movement in their ranks. I would not even form four deep! was the reply of Sir Colin, when remonstrated with for giving the Russians such a chance. Cool as if on Birthday parade The Sutherlands stood until their foes were within 600 yards, then down on their knees they dropped the front rank, and delivered a steady volley. But the distance was too great, and, though a few saddles were emptied, the Russians pressed forward unchecked. On they rode, till scarcely 200 yards separated them from the intrepid Highlanders. When the rear rank brought their Minies to the present and over the heads of their kneeling comrades pourd a withering fire into the enemys masses.Shaken to their very centre, the Russian Squadrons fell back, but, encouraged by their gallant leaders, they determined to make one last bid for victory, and wheeling around, endeavored to turn the Highlanders right flank. here they were checkmated by the grenadier Company, which received the charge with such a volley, that the Russians went Files about and scampered off to seek the shelter of their guns.

The Thin Red Line by Robert Gibb. (Y)
Half Price! - £25.00
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)
Half Price! - £20.00
In 1895, Leander Starr Jameson assembled a private army outside the Transvaal with the aim of invading and overthrowing the Boer government.  The idea had been to encourage civil unrest among foreign workers (Uitlanders), and use the outbreak of open revolt as an excuse to invade and take over the territory.  But Jameson grew impatient and so launched the Jameson Raid on 29th December 1895, and managed to push within twenty miles of Johannesburg before superior Boer forces compelled him and his men to surrender at Doornkop on the 2nd of Janaury 1896.
Jameson's Last Stand, Battle of Doornkop 2nd January 1896 by Richard Caton Woodville
Half Price! - £20.00
 Helmand Province, Afghanistan, April, 2011. Men of <i>The Highlanders</i> 4th Royal Regiment of Scotland, patrol through a flowering poppy field near Lashkar Gah.

Poppy Fields by David Pentland.
Half Price! - £70.00

 

SPORT PRINTS

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

Some Current Half Price Sport Art Offers

Champion racing horse West Tip at Cheltenham race course.

West Tip by Mark Churms.
Half Price! - £20.00
 With his typical degree of accuracy, Martin Smith has produced this fantastic portrait of David Coulthard, smiling as he walks towards his car in anticipation of a forthcoming race, every detail in his papers showing.
David Coulthard by Martin Smith
Half Price! - £40.00


Lennox Lewis by Peter Deighan.
Half Price! - £50.00
Unarguably the most famous Flying Finn of the past years has been Mika Häkkinen who won the F1 championship twice 1998-1999 and also raced in DTM between 2005 and 2007.

The Flying Finn by Ray Goldsbrough
Half Price! - £20.00

From behind 10th green looking back towards lighthouse, Ailsa Craig and monument.

Turnberry - Ailsa Course by Mark Chadwick
Half Price! - £20.00
 Marlboro McLaren Mercedes MP4/11. 1996.
David Coulthard by Michael Thompson.
Half Price! - £25.00
 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)
Half Price! - £60.00
SFA19.  Laytown Beach by Chris Howells.
Laytown Beach by Chris Howells.
Half Price! - £45.00

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