26th August 2008, 12:14
Watching BBC Breakfast News this morning, very good piece about the recovery of old wrecks from the Thames. This is apparently due to channel deepening but they have found around 600 wrecks of all ages and are very active in recovering them. Even talked about old naval ships one of which exploded near London with loss of 300 men. Showed clip of Richard Montgomery taken from the air but made no mention of any work on her.
I think its to be shown on BBC 2 tonight and looks as if it could be a great watch.
27th August 2008, 00:07
Strange coincidence re the first vessel in the documentary,a few weeks ago I came into the possession of a small oil painting of a Uncle of my Sister in Law,the story was the painting was of a George Ewart, the story went died on the Hood,the other part of the story was it had been painted by a German POW,it is signed by and dated or we assume a date 1947,it just says 47 now the Uncle was lost with his ship in 1940? so this itself is a puzzle.
Anyway further research we discover he did not die on the Hood he died on a minesweeper we did not know the name of,further research having the chaps name and approximate date of death I found him on the Graves Commission website search engine,it turned out he was killed when his vessel a Trawler seconded to the Royal Navy Patrol Service struck a mine in the channel and all 35 crew were lost,his ship was called The Hickory.
I did some more googling and found The RNPS website and even a photograph of a Bronze Memorial Plaque with his name on it.
The strange thing being up until last week I had never heard of this branch of the RN and knew nothing of its wartime activities yet within a week I catch this documentary on the television about it and they even show that very plaque I found.
As a aside the reason I have the painting is it SIL cousin's father died last year and she was going to throw the painting in the bin when she cleared out his house,so I rescued it,it seemed a terrible shame to just cast aside family history like that.
I noted in my search that the RNPS has a small museum in Lowestoft dedicated to all the chaps who served,so I was going to send them a email and see if they would like this painting,the painting itself is well executed about 24" by 18" though I am no art expert,it is of a chap in his early twenties head and shoulders dressed in Royal Navy uniform,his cap just has HMS on the front no ships name.
The name on the bottom of the painting certainly sounds German,actually the painting itself is at my brothers house now and the name has slipped from my memory and as I said has the date? 47 which is a bit of a mystery and has a Newcastle framers number on the back,no other info.
My SIL remembers the painting in her Grandmothers house when she was a child,we can only summise it was done from a photograph after the war in 1947.