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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 1970ís 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 companyís 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 Scottís Discovery for a further Antarctic expedition. Herbert Vosper retired in 1919, and died in 1934.

Vosper & Coís 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 Campbellís 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 Vosperís 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 companyís 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. Vosperís 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 1950ís saw the building of the Brave Class powered by the Bristol Siddeley Proteus gas turbine using super cavitating propellers developed in the Vosperís 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 1960ís, 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 Vosperís to expand.

JI Thornycroft built his first vessel at Chiswick on the River Thames in the late 1800ís, 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 Southamptonís 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, Thornycroftís 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 1930ís 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 companiesí gave them both a lifeline and outlets to succeed. In early 1966 they joined forces, but both companiesís 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 21ís 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 Companyís 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 OPVís 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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Red Stars Over Berlin, 12th August 1941 by David Pentland.
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 If you had the height, you controlled the battle. If you came out of the sun, the enemy could not see you. If you held your fire until you were very close, you seldom missed. These three basic rules contributed to the prowess in aerial combat of some of the most successful fighter pilots in history and seldom were they more valuable than when outnumbered. Between July and October 1940 the brave young pilots of RAF Fighter Command were under intense pressure from the constant attacks of the Luftwaffe and the Hawker Hurricane was <i>the</i> machine of the Battle of Britain, accounting for 80 percent of Allied victories.  In this painting, Hurricanes of 32 Sqn climb high into the morning sky, gaining Height and Sun in an attempt to take the advantage over the onslaught of enemy fighters - August, 1940.  This image captures the surreal calmness above the clouds, belying the fury of action and ultimate sacrifices made in those crisp blue skies.

Height and Sun by Robert Taylor.
Half Price! - £150.00

 The end of an era.  British Airways Concorde G-BOAG moments before touching down at Heathrow for the very last time.

Final Touchdown by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £15.00
Hurricane LK-M of No.87 Squadron piloted by Flt Lt Alex Thom DFC limps over the south coast of England on 19th August 1942. While supporting troops on the ground at Dieppe, the Hurricane was hit by ground fire and lost oil pressure. Alex Thom got the damaged aircraft back to Britain, making a forced landing at East Den. Ferried back to 87 Sqn's airfield, he immediately set off once more for Dieppe in Hurricane LK-A.

A Welcome Shore by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
Half Price! - £90.00
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.
Half Price! - £50.00
 Known among the Taliban forces as the <i>Mosquito</i>, the Apache AH-1 has proved itself a formidable and essential part of the British presence in Afghanistan, operated by 656 and 664 Squadrons of 9 Regiment AAC.  Two AH-1s are depicted here landing after a close support mission in 2010.

A Brace of Hunters by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £750.00

 

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

 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)
Half Price! - £55.00
VAR344B.  H.M.A.S. Nizam 1943 by Brian Wood.
H.M.A.S. Nizam 1943 by Brian Wood (B)
Half Price! - £20.00
 Viewed from beneath the blistered guns of the damaged X and Y turrets of her sister HMS Ajax, Achilles come sunder fire from the pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee during what was to become known as the Battle of the River Plate on the 13th December 1939. Shells from Achilles are closing on her opponent as the Graf Spee alters course at the start of the doomed battleships flight to Montevideo

The Pursuit of the Graf Spee by Ivan Berryman (P)
Half Price! - £2800.00
Key ships of the British task force sail in close formation in the Mediterranean sea during the build up to the coalition invasion of Iraq in march 2003, nearest is the flagship HMS Ark Royal with the commando carrier HMS ocean to her port side. other ships include a Type 42 destroyer , the Fleet Auxiliary Fort Victoria and an LSL††

NTG03 - Task Force to Iraq by Ivan Berryman (AP)
Half Price! - £25.00

 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
HMS Coventry comes under air attack from aircraft off Tobruk, 14th September 1942.  As well as losing the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Coventry, the Allies also lost  HMS Zulu and six coastal craft sunk by bombing as they were returning from Tobruk.  HMS Coventry was rated as one of the most effective anti-aircraft ships in the entire British navy, downing more aircraft than any other ship.

HMS Coventry by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £15.00
HMS Thunderbolt by Ivan Berryman. The submarine HMS Thunderbolt moves away from the depot ship Montcalm.  Another submarine, HMS Swordfish is alongside for resupply.

HMS Thunderbolt by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
Half Price! - £25.00
Bismarck, now complete and newly painted in full Baltic camouflage, returns to Hamburg for the last time as the harsh winter of 1940/41 relents and the pride of the German Kriegsmarine prepares for real action.  In the distance, the pre-Dreadnought Schleswig-Holstein awaits her next commission, the old ship alternating between vital ice-breaker and air defence duties at this time.  The Bismarck would in May 1941 put to sea and engage and sink HMS Hood only to be caught by the British battleships Rodney and King George V.  Bismarck was pounded into a floating wreck, finally being sunk by the torpedoes of HMS Dorsetshire.  From her crew of 2300 only 110 would be rescued by HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Maori.

Bismarck Entering Hamburg Harbour by Ivan Berryman
Half Price! - £15.00

 

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

Roveredo is a small town 30 miles south of Trent in the Adige valley, this was the scene of an engagement between the advance formations of the army of Italy (10,200 strong) commanded by Massena and the larger part of Davidovitchs Austrian force (14,000 strong) general Wurmser had entrusted Davidovitch to defend the area around Trent, while the main Austrian army headed east and South in an attempt to relieve besieged Mantua. The 14,000 Austrians deployed between the road Junction of Roveredo and the village of Marco. The French captured the main position by sending one brigade to outflank Marco. During the battle the French forces took 6,000 Prisoners and 20 artillery pieces for the loss of a few hundred men.

Battle of Roveredo by William Clarkson Stanfield (B)
Half Price! - £25.00
DHM825GL. Centurian by Chris Collingwood.

Centurian by Chris Collingwood (GL)
Half Price! - £350.00


Knightsbridge No. 1 Turnout by Mark Churms. (B)
Half Price! - £40.00
 88mm AA guns of the 23rd Flak Regiment, used as anti-tank guns by orders of Rommel himself, are shown firing on British Matilda tanks of 4th/7th Royal Tank Regiment.

Action at Arras, France, 21st May 1940 by David Pentland. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00

 During the morning of June 7th the 82nd Airborne were attacked by a mixed German battle group. Supported by 4th Division armour the Paratroopers and Glider troops repelled the attack which lasted most of the day.

Fighting for a Foothold, 82nd Airborne at St Mere Eglise, 1944 by Chris Collingwood. (Y)
Half Price! - £
Napoleon at the height of his military career, receives the surrender of the city of Ulm after an almost bloodless victory.
Surrender of Ulm by Charles Thevenin. (B)
Half Price! - £25.00


The Inniskillings at Waterloo by Jason Askew. (P)
Half Price! - £3000.00
 Confederate skirmishers of the 19th Virginia Volunteers take over behind a farmhouse during the early stages of the war 1861.

Grey Cover for Grey Rifles by Chris Collingwood. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00

 

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

 A cricketing genius, Sir Garfield Sobers excelled at all aspects of the game.  One of his most memorable moments being the six consecutive sixes hit off one over.†

Sir Garfield Sobers by Gary Keane.
Half Price! - £60.00
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
Half Price! - £110.00
SPC5002. Jeremy Guscott by Robert Highton.

Jeremy Guscott by Robert Highton.
Half Price! - £55.00
 Jimmys total of 516 league appearances produced an amazing 357 goals.

Greavsie by Gary Keane.
Half Price! - £55.00

FAR635. Muirfield - 13th Hole by Mark Chadwick

Muirfield - 13th Hole by Mark Chadwick
Half Price! - £20.00

Beckhams Golden Generation by Darren Baker. (Y)
Half Price! - £75.00
SP4.  Desert Orchid by Mark Churms.

Desert Orchid by Mark Churms.
Half Price! - £35.00
B42. Gerhard Berger/ Ferrari 412.T2 by Ivan Berryman.

Gerhard Berger/ Ferrari 412.T2 by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £40.00

Everything we obtain for this site is shown on the site, we do not have any more photos, crew lists or further information on any of the ships.

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