Tag Archives: world war i

Gentleman Wormwood

Here we see a bespoke U.S. Army cavalry officer, leaning on his French-style soldier’s cane, somewhere in Europe during the Great War. He is sporting the latest in chemical warfare fashion to include a British Small Box Respirator, M1917 “Brodie” helmet, and a gun belt with an M1911 pistol in a Model 1912 Mounted (Cavalry) holster with the tie cord wrapped around the bottom. He completes the ensemble with 1908 Pattern breeches (Jodhpurs) and officer’s riding boots while a Model 1918 Mackinaw coat keeps him as warm as German artillery fire.

He seems strangely relevant today.

Souvenir of the Big Advance at Cambrai

Turned over in a police firearms surrender, a trophy Luger from a historic Great War battle on the Western Front is now in a museum.

The pistol, a 1911-marked DWM, was collected by the Wiltshire Police during the UK’s National Firearms Surrender this summer. While the majority of firearms collected will be torched, the Luger was passed to the famed Tank Museum in Bovington for them to display.

“Firearms handed into the police during surrenders are sent for ballistic tests to ensure they haven’t been used in crime and are usually then destroyed,” said Wiltshire Police Armourer, Jamie Ross. However, an exception was made for the Luger, which was transferred in unmolested condition. “This live firearm is a part of history and I know that it is a welcome addition to the collection at the Tank Museum,” said Ross.

The intact DWM Parabellum was made in 1911 and, brought back as a war trophy the UK, is in a holster marked “Souvenir of the Big Advance at Cambrai November 1917.” (Photo: The Tank Museum)

More in my column at Guns.com

I bet Hugo Schmeisser is rolling and spinning

There, under the Krinkov, is a German StG44 in exploded view, which would probably be OK on any monument except that of Mikhail Kalashnikov

As I covered over at Guns.com, the Russians spent 35 million rubles (about $580K US) on a sprawling monument to the late firearms engineer Mikhail Kalashnikov that was unveiled in Moscow last week. Besides a nearly 30-foot high statue of Kalashnikov, the base of a monument to St. Mikhail, the Orthodox patron of gunsmiths and warriors, contains a representation of several of the engineer’s designs including an AK42 sub gun, AK47, AKM and AK74 rifles, as well as RPK and PK machine guns.

However, as noted by some sharp-eyed firearms enthusiasts and reported by Russian-based Kalashnikov magazine, just under a Krinkov AKS-74U is what appears to be the parts diagram for a German StG-44 Sturmgewehr.

Which some (notably outside of the Motherland) have contended that the AK was based on for decades.

This has caused understandable heartburn in Russia, and, as Russian firearms wonks pile on to disagree with the lineage of the AK– noting it is as Russian as a Florida pirated movie salesman, the offending diagram has been torched out.

New life to an old trench gun

As part of C&Rsenal’s new “Anvil” series, Mark gives a classic Remington 12 gauge trench gun an update to return some of its military utility.

A product of the mind of the great John Pedersen, best known for the original M51 pistol and the World War I Springfield 1903 firepower improvement device that carried his name, the Remington Model 10 was one of the original classes of early 20th Century pump action shotguns designed for smokeless powder shells. In all, some 275,000 were produced from 1908-1929 and some were adopted by both the Army and Marines during the Great War, remaining in use into the 1930s.

The ordnance-bomb marked trench gun Mark has was at some point repurposed to a sporter and is in pretty good condition considering its age– but after some updates to include a good cleaning, new trench gun handguard, new front metal, some bluing and the like, it’s ready to take on the Kaiser again.

Combat Gallery Sunday: The Martial Art of Franz Schmidt

Much as once a week I like to take time off to cover warships (Wednesdays), on Sundays (when I feel like working), I like to cover military art and the painters, illustrators, sculptors, photographers and the like that produced them.

Combat Gallery Sunday: The Martial Art of Franz Schmidt

Franz Schmidt was a German postcard artist probably best known for his series of city cards published from 1910-14 showing buildings and sites around his hometown of Nuremberg.

Nassauer Haus Nurnberg Germany, Franz Schmidt 1910.

Nassauer Haus Nurnberg Germany, Franz Schmidt 1910.

However, when the Great War popped off, Schmidt was commissioned to produce a series of “fighting man” style postcards for Trautmann & von Seggern of Hamburg (T&S) showing German troops in action in 1914-15.

While I cannot find much information on Schmidt’s background or how he obtained the study for the martial series (i.e. whether he used models, traveled to the front, relied on newspaper imagery) they are very well done and mostly correct, even if they are clearly propaganda. Each shows a good example of early war uniforms including piping, brass buttons and covered Pickelhaube and Czapka.

The below come from The Rare Book Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library has a massive collection of WWI postcards (nearly 10,000!)

Battle of St. Quentin. German soldiers on horseback, carrying swords, are riding toward English and Scottish infantry.

Battle of St. Quentin. German soldiers on horseback, carrying swords, are riding toward English and Scottish infantry.

Color image on a postcard showing a German infantryman holding his rifle, standing in the woods.

Color image on a postcard showing a German infantryman holding his rifle, standing in the woods.

Color image on a postcard showing a German Marine on a beach, carrying a rifle over his shoulder.

Color image on a postcard showing a German Marine on a beach, carrying a rifle over his shoulder.

German 77mm field artillery defend from French cavalry in battle near the Aisne

German 77mm field artillery defend from French cavalry in battle near the Aisne

German gunner at a gun park. He is standing in front of cannons, holding an artillery short sword

German gunner at a gun park. He is standing in front of cannons, holding an artillery short sword

German troops attacking Indian troops at Ypres, in West Flanders. Througout the war the Germans made a big deal of the fact that both France and Britain utilized colonial troops who the German media characterized as savages-- while they played up their own native Askari troops in Africa.

German troops attacking Indian troops at Ypres, in West Flanders. Throughout the war the Germans made a big deal of the fact that both France and Britain utilized colonial troops who the German media often characterized as savages– while they played up their own native Askari troops in Africa.

German soldiers fighting French soldiers at Neufchâteau

German soldiers fighting French soldiers at Neufchâteau

Hussar standing with his horse in a city that has been bombed. In his hand is a lit cigar

Hussar standing with his horse in a city that has been bombed. In his hand is a lit cigar.

Landstrum soldier at a railway station. There is snow on the ground, and a train sits on a track in the background.

Landstrum soldier at a railway station. There is snow on the ground, and a train sits on a track in the background.

Postcard showing a member of the German uhlan cavalry on horseback with lance.

Postcard showing a member of the German uhlan cavalry on horseback with lance.

Schmidt’s cards from time to time pop up online on eBay and others, typically at low ($5-$10) prices.

Thank you for your work, sir.

Warship Wednesday Dec. 21, 2017: The pirate chaser of Lake Michigan

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1859-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all of their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places. – Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday Dec. 21, 2017: The pirate chaser of Lake Michigan

Photo: Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

Photo: Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center. Click to big up

Here we see the one of a kind Cutter Tuscarora, of the Revenue Cutter Service, as she sails mightily around the Great Lakes in the early 1900s– note her twin 6-pdr popguns forward.

The mighty Tuscarora, in all of her 178-feet of glory, gave over three decades of service, fought in a World War, and even caught what could be considered the last American pirate.

Laid down at the William R. Trigg Company, Richmond, Virginia in 1900, she was commissioned 27 December 1902 (114 years ago next Tuesday to be exact), and was named after a Native American nation of the Iroquois confederacy.

A steel-hulled ship built for a service still shaking off wooden hulls and sailing rigs, Tuscarora was built for the USRCS for what was seen as easy duty on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior in what was then known as the Great Lakes Patrol, replacing the larger USRC Gresham (1,090-tons, 205-feet) which was removed from the Lakes by splitting her in half in 1898 to take part in the Spanish-American War.

Just 620-tons, she could float in 11-feet of freshwater and cost the nation $173,814 (about $4.7 million in today’s figures, which is something of a bargain). As her primary job was that of enforcing customs and chasing smugglers, her armament consisted of a couple of 6-pounder (57mm) naval pieces that were pretty standard for parting the hair of a wayward sea captain who wouldn’t heave to or to sink derlicts.

Revenue cutter TUSCARORA At Milwaukee, Wisconsin, circa 1908. NH 71060

Revenue cutter TUSCARORA At Milwaukee, Wisconsin, circa 1908. NH 71060

Based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she made regular calls on the Chicago area and, like all other craft on the freshwater Lakes, was laid up each winter. Replacements for her crew were generally recruited from Milwaukee by custom.

Tuscarora led a relatively uneventful life, policing regattas, entertaining local sightseers, provided support to U.S. Life Saving Service stations, assisting distressed mariners, exchanging salutes with the occasional British (Canadian) customs vessel, and waiting for the ice every winter.

But there was a guy in the Frankfort, Michigan, area, a former Navy bluejacket and one-time Klondike prospector by the name of Captain “Roaring” Dan Seavey who was a hell raiser. A big man for his day, Dan was also known to pack a revolver and when the mood or spirits struck him, shoot out street lights or occasional window encountered on his travels.

Then, he took to the water.

You see, sometime around the early 1900s, Seavey picked up a  battered 40 to 50-foot two-masted schooner with no engines that he named Wanderer, and became downright notorious.

Seavey

Seavey, sometime in the 1920s

He ran anything he could across the Lakes for a buck. Reportedly, he used the Wanderer as an offshore brothel and casino and basically did anything he wanted– to a degree.

He would set up fake lights to entice coasters to wreck, then be the first one on hand for salvage rights, goes the tale.

Word is he sank a rival venison smuggler (hey, it was Lake Michigan) with a cannon somewhere out on the lake and made sure no one lived to tell the tale.

Photo of Dan Seavey's schooner Wanderer, courtesy Door County Maritime Museum via the Growler mag http://growlermag.com/roaring-dan-seavey-pirate-of-the-great-lakes/

Photo of Dan Seavey’s schooner Wanderer, courtesy Door County Maritime Museum via the Growler mag

In June 1908, he took over the 40-foot schooner Nellie Johnson in Grand Haven, Michigan in an act that could be termed today, well, piracy.

In short, it involved getting the skipper drunk and leaving with the boat and her two complicit crew members while the Johnson‘s master slept it off.

However, unable to sell her cargo of cedar posts in Chicago, Seavey poked around with the pirated ship in tow for over two weeks– and Tuscarora, under the command of Captain Preston H. Uberroth, USRCS, with Deputy U.S. Marshall Thomas Currier on board, poked around every nook and cranny until they found Nellie Johnson swamped but with her cargo intact, and Seavey on the run.

From an excellent article on Seavey in Hour Detroit:

There was a stiff breeze that day and Seavey was grabbing every bit of it he could with the Wanderer’s two sails. With the Wanderer now in sight, it might have now been no contest, but Uberroth wasn’t taking any chances. The Tuscarora’s boilers were so hot the paint burned off the smokestack. The final chase lasted an hour, ending, according to some reports (which many now doubt true), with a cannon shot from the Tuscarora over the bow of the Wanderer, finally bringing Seavey to a halt.

If reporters made up the cannon shot, they weren’t the only ones caught up in the action. Currier was quoted as saying, “I have chased criminals all my life, but this was the most thrilling experience of many years. I never before chased a pirate with a steamship, and probably never will again, but of all the jolly pirates Seavey is the jolliest.”

Whatever happened, Uberroth sent an armed crew aboard, placed Seavey in irons, and brought him to the Tuscarora, which then made for Chicago.

“Seavey was surprised, to say the least,” accord to Currier. “He said that we would never have caught him had he had another half-hour’s start.”

It was sensational news at the time and went coast to coast, with Seavey maintaining that he won the Nellie Johnson in a poker game and everyone just had the wrong idea. When the owner of the

When the owner of the Nellie Johnson failed to appear in federal court in Chicago, Seavey was set free to sail the fringes of the law for decades.

As for Tuscarora, she got back to work, responding to a very active season of distress calls on Lake Superior and surviving being grounded off Detour, Michigan with a government wrecking crew from Sault Ste sent to help refloat her without much damage other than to her pride.

u-s-revenue-cutter-tuscarora-viewed-at-an-angle-from-the-front-along-one-side-1905

In late 1912, she took part in the search for the lost Christmas tree boat Rousse Simmons, and served as a safety ship for John G. Kaminski, the first licensed pilot in Wisconsin, as he flew his primitive Curtiss A-1 Pusher aircraft over the water in an exhibition near Milwaukee.

In 1913, Tuscarora was part of the Perry Battle of Lake Erie Centennial Fleet, which toured the Great Lakes alongside the replica of Oliver Hazard Perry’s flagship Niagara.

Ships seen are (from left to right): U.S. Revenue Cutter Tuscarora; USS Wolverine (Pennsylvania Naval Militia ship); a converted yacht, probably one of those assigned to Great Lakes state Naval Militias; and the Niagara replica. Courtesy of Tom Parsons, 2007. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. NH 104256

Ships seen are (from left to right): U.S. Revenue Cutter Tuscarora; USS Wolverine (Pennsylvania Naval Militia ship); a converted yacht, probably one of those assigned to Great Lakes state Naval Militias; and the Niagara replica. Courtesy of Tom Parsons, 2007. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. NH 104256

In 1916, she became part of the new U.S. Coast Guard and was rebuilt, bringing her displacement to 739-tons, which deepened her draft considerably.

image-of-four-sailors-manning-an-anti-aircraft-gun-on-the-u-s-revenue-cutter-tuscarora-anchored-on-lake-michigan-in-chicago-illinois-chicago-daily-news-1905

Upon declaration of war on April 6, 1917, the United States Coast Guard automatically became a part of the Department of the Navy and the now-USS Tuscarora (CG-7) picked up a coat of haze gray, a 3-inch gun in place of one of her 6-pdrs, and made for the Boston Naval District, arriving on the East Coast in October.

The Wisconsin Veteran’s Museum has the papers of Kenosha resident John Isermann, a cutterman QM2 who served on Tuscarora during World War I.

Patrolling off Rhode Island and Connecticut, she came to the assistance of the USS Helianthus (SP585) in December and an unnamed schooner in January 1918 while on the lookout for German submarines. When in port at Providence, the crew was detailed to guard munitions and assisted with testing underwater weaponry at the Naval Torpedo Station at Goat Island, near Newport, Rhode Island. Setting south, she met transports bound for France out of Hampton Rhodes in February and picked up a set of depth charges and throwers in March of that year.

On March 13, 1918, Tuscarora rescued 130 from the beached Merchants and Miners Line steamer SS Kershaw (2,599-tons) off East Hampton, Long Island via breeches buoy after picking up her SOS from 15 miles away.

Kershaw

Kershaw

(Kershaw was later refloated only to be sunk in a collision with the Dollar Liner SS President Garfield in 1928 on Martha’s Vineyard Sound)

The next day, Tuscarora took the old broken down Velasco-class gunboat USS Don Juan de Austria under tow to bring her into Newport.

The ship then escorted a small convoy to Bermuda, then put in at Guantanamo Bay and Key West, reporting a submarine contact in May 1918. She finished her service

She finished her service at Key West and, returned to the Treasury Department at the end of hostilities, landed her depth charges, picked up a fresh coat of white paint, and resumed her permanent station at Milwaukee on 6 October 1920.

u-s-revenue-cutter-tuscarora-wiconsin-veterans-museum

However the saltwater was calling to her and, with the onset of Prohibition nonsense, she was transferred to Boston again in 1926 to help patrol “rum row” and keep Canadian motherships from meeting with local rumrunners just off shore.

By 1930, she was reassigned to Florida where she was under temporary loan to the Navy in 1933 for the Cuban Expedition.

This came about when Fulgencio Bastista led the “Sergeant’s Revolt” on 4-5 September 1933 and forced then-Cuban dictator, General Gerardo Machado to flee Cuba. President Roosevelt sent 30 warships to protect our interests in Cuba. Due to a shortage of vessels on the east coast, the Navy requested that Coast Guard cutters assist in the patrols in Cuban waters. Because of the shenanigans, our hardy Lake Michigan pirate buster spent nearly three months at Matanzas and Havana taking part in gunboat diplomacy.

At the end of her useful life and a new series of 165-foot cutters being built as a WPA project for small shipyards, Tuscarora was decommissioned 1 May 1936.

In 1937, she was sold to Texas Refrigerator Steamship Lines for use as a banana boat, a job she apparently was ill-suited for, as in 1939 she was sold again to the Boston Iron & Metal Company, Baltimore, Maryland, for her value as scrap.

As for “pirate” Seavey, he may have smuggled alcohol during Prohibition– at the same time he was a Deputy U.S. Marshal sometime after the Wanderer was destroyed by fire in 1918.

He died in a nursing home in 1949.

seaveygravestone

However, there is a distillery that pays homage to Dan today with his own brand of maple-flavored rum produced in the Great Lakes area.

roaring-dans-rum

“Although the facts and fiction of Dan’s life have become twisted over the years, we do know Dan was the only man ever arrested for piracy on the Great Lakes,” says the distillery— who runs an image of Tuscarora in memorandum.

Specs:

image-of-the-tuscarora-gunboat-in-water-at-chicago-illinois-1909
Displacement 620 t.
1916 – 739 t., 1933- 849 t.
Length 178′
Beam 30′
Draft 10′ 11″
1916 – 15′ 3″
Propulsion: VTE, 2 Babcock & Wilcox single end boilers, one shaft.
Maximum speed 14.2 kts as built, 12 sustained
Complement 65
1916 – 64
Armament: 2  57/45 Hotchkiss 6-pdr Mk II/III or Driggs-Schroeder Mk I (as built)
1917: 1 x 3″/50 Mk 2 low angle, 1x6pdr, machine guns, depth charges
1919: 1 x 3″/50 Mk 2

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LOC does the Great War

Joseph Pennell (1857–1926). Submarines in Dry Dock, 1917. Transfer lithographic drawing. Bequest of the Estate of Joseph Pennell. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (005.00.00) LC-DIG-ppmsca-40029

Joseph Pennell (1857–1926). Submarines in Dry Dock, 1917. Transfer lithographic drawing. Bequest of the Estate of Joseph Pennell. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (005.00.00) LC-DIG-ppmsca-40029

The Library of Congress—which holds the largest multi-format collection of materials on the American experience in World War I—will present a major exhibition in 2017 to commemorate the centennial of The Great War.

The United States’ involvement in the “war to end all wars” began on April 6, 1917, when the U.S. Congress formally declared war on the German Empire, and concluded Nov. 11, 1918, with the armistice agreement.  The exhibition will examine the upheaval of world war, as Americans experienced it—domestically and overseas.  In the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, the exhibition will open in early April 2017 and close in January 2019.  Initially, it will feature 200 items, but during its 18-month run, numerous other artifacts will be rotated into the display.

Now through April 2017, the Library of Congress is featuring twice-monthly blogs about World War I, written by Library curators who highlight stories and collection materials they think are most revealing about the war.  The blogs can be viewed at http://www.loc.gov/blogs/.

WW-Hist-clipping-Nov-11-1918-NY-Evening-Jouranl

An exhibition showing how American artists galvanized public interest in World War I is currently on display at the Library of Congress.  “World War I: American Artists View the Great War” is on view through May 6, 2017 in the Graphic Arts Galleries on the ground floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.  The exhibition is free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  An online version can be viewed here.

The Cannes de Poilus

French Poilu 1918 by Stcyr74 Via Deviant Art

French Poilu 1918 by Stcyr74 Via Deviant Art

In showing a photo montage of the Great War era infantryman’s typical loadout last week, it was interesting to note the non-standard equipment each often carried. While the Doughboy could be expected to have a domino set and the Tommy a trench mace, the French soldier’s kit was shown with a walking cane.

Yup, the canne de marche or cannes de poilus was very popular with the average French soldier of the period. Going back to the time of the little Emperor, senior sergeants in the Grand Armee often carried their own thick canes for correcting disciplinary problems and there was evidence this practice continued through the 1870s.

By the time of the Great War, the elite “blue devils” of the French Chasseurs Alpins and les troupes alpine were issued long-handled walking sticks for use in skiing and mountaineering.

Nos diables bleus en reconnaissance

Nos diables bleus en reconnaissance

Carte Postale DESSIN JULLIAN - CHASSEUR ALPIN

Carte Postale DESSIN JULLIAN – CHASSEUR ALPIN

Carte Postale DESSIN JULLIAN - CHASSEUR ALPIN

Carte Postale DESSIN JULLIAN – CHASSEUR ALPIN

Then came the average soldier, or poilus (bearded ones) who often carried their own non-standard walking sticks to help during marches–especially along muddy roads of the era– or to kill rats in bivouac. As imagery from the time shows, these sticks were widespread and varied from soldier to soldier. Functional trench art if you will.

World War I Poilu French Infantry Soldiers groupe de poilus le 24 eme en 1916 Poilus-et-leurs-cannes-en-1916 cannes de poilus gasmask school Transport-de-pains-enfilés-sur-un-bâton edmond lajoux cannes de poilus 1915 poilus poilu cane

French soldiers and officers outside of Fort Vaux, Verdun, December 1916– with canes

Some examples of walking sticks have even been found made from legacy infantry sabers.

There is some evidence the practice outlived the trenches of the Great War.

This image from 1919 portrays a soldier on occupation duty in Germany, his kit carried by a local German boy.

Alsatian Schoolboy carrying the haversack of a hairy bâton-de-poilu-par-Hansi-1919
Here are a set of French soldiers in 1939 with their own very well-made walking sticks:
cannes de poilus 1939

WWII Free French icon Gen. Philippe de Hauteclocque (aka Leclerc) was often seen with a cane though he may have used it honestly– as he broke his leg in two places in a fall from his horse in 1936– although in this 1947 image he seems to get along just fine without it.

Général Leclerc de Hauteclocque was often seen with a cane though

Further, tributes such as postage stamps and monuments across France all show Leclerc with his ever-present canne, though rarely showing him actually using it, giving even more credence to the fact that it was his own marshal baton throwback to the time when he commanded  First World War veteran poilus as a young sous-lieutenant with the 5e Régiment de Cuirassiers on occupation duty in the Ruhr.

POSTE-1953-5The French Musee d’la Armee has the circa 1940 canes of both General Weygand and Giraud on display.

Giraud’s

Weygand’s canne

For more information and the source of many of these images, please refer to the excellent (French) site Centre de Recherche sur la Canne et le Bâton.

Ghosts of the Somme

With the five month hell of the Somme remembered forever as the bloodiest battle of the British Empire’s history (481,842 killed, including a staggering 19,240 on the first day alone), some 1,400 reenactors in the UK have pulled down a very effective commemorative in the #WeAreHere movement in which, dressed as 1916 Tommies, they ride public transport and mill around many of the same locations that British soldiers of the time would have, handing out calling cards of those past to interested observers.

We are here Somme BEF reenactor wwi tommy We are here Somme BEF reenactor wwi tommy 2 We are here Somme BEF reenactor wwi tommy 3 We are here Somme BEF reenactor wwi tommy 4 We are here Somme BEF reenactor wwi tommy 5

Combat Gallery Sunday : The Martial Art of Geoffrey Stephen Allfree

Much as once a week I like to take time off to cover warships (Wednesdays), on Sundays (when I feel like working), I like to cover military art and the painters, illustrators, sculptors, photographers and the like that produced them.

Combat Gallery Sunday : The Martial Art of Geoffrey Stephen Allfree

Born 11 Feb 1889 in Kent, England, to the Rev Francis Allfree– the vicar of the Parish of St Nicholas-at-Wade and Sarre, young Geoffrey Stephen Allfree embarked on a career as a merchant mariner until 1911 when he took up painting.

He volunteered to take the King’s Schilling at the outbreak of war in 1914 as a Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Navy Reserve and served several years in motor launches. By 1918, he was named a war artist and covered a number of maritime subjects of the Great War.

The Wake of a P-boat. A view from the stern of a patrol boat of the waves and spray created by the boat as it moves across the surface of the water. Another vessel is visible in the patrol boat's wake..IWM ART 563

The Wake of a P-boat. A view from the stern of a patrol boat of the waves and spray created by the boat as it moves across the surface of the water. Another vessel is visible in the patrol boat’s wake..IWM ART 563

A Monitor's Turret. A detailed side-on view of the two-gun turret of a Monitor, with part of the ship's superstructure visible behind the turrent to the left. A portion of the deck is visible, with a sailor standing on it in the right foreground. The silhouettes of buildings are visible in the background, showing that the Monitor is moored in a dock. IWM 564

A Monitor’s Turret. A detailed side-on view of the two-gun turret of a Monitor, with part of the ship’s superstructure visible behind the turrent to the left. A portion of the deck is visible, with a sailor standing on it in the right foreground. The silhouettes of buildings are visible in the background, showing that the Monitor is moored in a dock. IWM 564

Submarines In Dry Dock. a view of two Royal Navy submarines being refitted in a dry dock. The foremost submarine is shown from the bow, whilst the second, to the left, is shown from the stern. Both are supported by scaffolding and struts. Men work on the deck and hull of the foremost submarine, with a few men also standing on the floor of the dry dock. IWM 777

Submarines In Dry Dock. a view of two Royal Navy submarines being refitted in a dry dock. The foremost submarine is shown from the bow, whilst the second, to the left, is shown from the stern. Both are supported by scaffolding and struts. Men work on the deck and hull of the foremost submarine, with a few men also standing on the floor of the dry dock. IWM 777

HMS Revenge in Dry Dock, Portsmouth, 1918. A view of the looming bow of the Royal Navy battleship HMS Revenge whilst undergoing maintenance in dry dock at Portsmouth. The huge ship is tethered to the dockside and supported against the side of the dock with large struts. The lower half of the hull, usually below the water level, is a rusty orange colour. Only the tallest part of the ship's superstructure is visible at the top of the composition. The lead ship of her class of 5 30,000-ton modern battleships, Revenge was commissioned in 1916, just before the Battle of Jutland and survived both World Wars, going to the breakers in 1948. IWM 765

HMS Revenge in Dry Dock, Portsmouth, 1918. A view of the looming bow of the Royal Navy battleship HMS Revenge whilst undergoing maintenance in dry dock at Portsmouth. The huge ship is tethered to the dockside and supported against the side of the dock with large struts. The lower half of the hull, usually below the water level, is a rusty orange color. Only the tallest part of the ship’s superstructure is visible at the top of the composition. The lead ship of her class of 5 30,000-ton modern battleships, Revenge was commissioned in 1916, just before the Battle of Jutland and survived both World Wars, going to the breakers in 1948. IWM 765

HMS Revenge In Dry Dock At Night, Portsmouth The Work was Continued through the Night by the Aid of Huge Flares. IWM 761

HMS Revenge In Dry Dock At Night, Portsmouth The Work was Continued through the Night by the Aid of Huge Flares. IWM 761

A Monitor. A front-on view of a large Monitor at sea, with its two-gun turret facing towards the bow. Parts of the ship's superstructure are painted in a chequered pattern. A number of sailors are visible standing on deck and there is a stationary gun platform visible in the background to the left. IWM 568

A Monitor. A front-on view of a large Monitor at sea, with its two-gun turret facing towards the bow. Parts of the ship’s superstructure are painted in a chequered pattern. A number of sailors are visible standing on deck and there is a stationary gun platform visible in the background to the left. IWM 568

Dazzled Tramp In Portsmouth Harbour. a view of the starboard side of a dazzle camouflaged Merchant Navy transport ship, which is moored in Portsmouth harbour. IWM 793

Dazzled Tramp In Portsmouth Harbour. a view of the starboard side of a dazzle camouflaged Merchant Navy transport ship, which is moored in Portsmouth harbour. IWM 793

A Torpedoed Tramp Steamer off the Longships, Cornwall, 1918. A tramp-steamer in dazzle camouflage keeled over to port and grounded on a cliff-lined Cornish beach. A heavy sea flecked with foam washes over the wreck, while a stormy sky passes overhead. Shafts of sunlight illuminate the sea and cliffs with an unearthly glow. The remains of an earlier wreck can be seen stranded on the point in the upper left. IWM 2237.

A Torpedoed Tramp Steamer off the Longships, Cornwall, 1918. A tramp-steamer in dazzle camouflage keeled over to port and grounded on a cliff-lined Cornish beach. A heavy sea flecked with foam washes over the wreck, while a stormy sky passes overhead. Shafts of sunlight illuminate the sea and cliffs with an unearthly glow. The remains of an earlier wreck can be seen stranded on the point in the upper left. IWM 2237.

HMS Iron Duke. The ship is starboard side on, steaming from left to right with a smaller ship in front of the battleship's bow. The lead ship of her 29,000-ton class, Iron Duke was commissioned into the Home Fleet in March 1914 as the fleet flagship, fought at Jutland, and made it through WWII to be broken in 1946. IWM149.

HMS Iron Duke. The ship is starboard side on, steaming from left to right with a smaller ship in front of the battleship’s bow. The lead ship of her 29,000-ton class, Iron Duke was commissioned into the Home Fleet in March 1914 as the fleet flagship, fought at Jutland, and made it through WWII to be broken in 1946. IWM149.

A Dazzled Oiler, With Escort. A large dazzle-painted oiler at sea being escorted by a smaller vessel, with the white chalk cliffs of the coastline visible in the background. IWM 567.

A Dazzled Oiler, With Escort. A large dazzle-painted oiler at sea being escorted by a smaller vessel, with the white chalk cliffs of the coastline visible in the background. IWM 567.

Motor Launches Engaging a Submarine. A motor launch at full steam, moving from right to left, with her bow lifting out of the water. Two figures on the deck are manning a light gun. Another motor launch is visible just behind. Both are moving quickly towards a German submarine that has surfaced, in the background to the left. The artist served in motor launched throughout the war, even while in work as a war artist, so this image was real life for him. IWM 148

Motor Launches Engaging a Submarine. A motor launch at full steam, moving from right to left, with her bow lifting out of the water. Two figures on the deck are manning a light gun. Another motor launch is visible just behind. Both are moving quickly towards a German submarine that has surfaced, in the background to the left. The artist served in motor launched throughout the war, even while in work as a war artist, so this image was real life for him. IWM 148

His work included very popular if stark memorial art to the loss of the cruiser HMS Hampshire

Speaking of loss, the artist was killed at age 29 during the war when on 29 Sept 1918– just six weeks before the Armistice– his craft, HM Motor Launch No. 247, was lost at sea.

From the IWM:

A four boat flotilla of Motor Launches had entered St Ives Bay for shelter during a strong southerly gale, which rapidly escalated to hurricane force winds. In the eye of the storm,the Motor Launches started engines and tried desperately to work their way into deeper water. Allfree’s launch developed engine trouble, one mile off Clodgy Point and started to drift helplessly towards Oar Rock. The St. Ives’ lifeboat raced to reach the stricken ship, but arrived minutes too late by which time the launch had blown up on impact with the rock, presumably as its depth charges detonated. There was only one survivor.

He is commemorated on a brass tablet in St Nicholas’ church as well as on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

A number of his pieces are in the National Collection in the UK and displayed at various public locations while the Imperial War Museum has some 53 on file and keeps a detail of his own biography as part of their Lives of the First World War series.

Thank you for your work, sir.

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