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HMS 'Kelly' limping home from the Skagerrak

BHC2413
Oil paintings

Object connections:

Collection Oil paintings, Fine art
ExhibitionsWar Artists at Sea
Gallery locationNot on display
VesselsKelly 1938

Object details:

Object ID BHC2413
Description As an official war artist during the Second World War, Dring mainly produced portraits for the Admiralty but also did a few paintings based on photographs, of which this is an atmospheric example. At 22.45 on 9 May 1940 the destroyer 'Kelly' was torpedoed north of Denmark by the German S-boat, S-31. Hit in the boiler rooms, both flooded instantly and the ship lost all power (making the received title of the painting inaccurate unless showing it already under unseen tow). Despite all unnecessary topweight being jettisoned, 'Kelly' took on a severe list to starboard and could not be righted. Under ongoing threat of attack, the destroyer 'Bulldog' took it in tow and in worsening weather all the crew, bar 18 volunteers, was evacuated. The tug 'Watermeyer' took over the tow on 12 May and 'Kelly' eventually reached the Tyne for repairs in the evening of the 13th. 'Kelly' at this time was under Captain (later Admiral of the Fleet) Lord Louis Mountbatten, as a destroyer flotilla commander, and in 1942 - the year the ship was sunk - his friend Noel Coward (as director and lead actor) brought out the very successful war film 'In Which We Serve', based on his exploits in it. The painting is signed 'Dennis Dring', lower left.
Date made 1941

Artist/Maker Dring, Dennis William
Dring, William
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Presented by the War Artists Advisory Committee, 1947
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Painting: 380 mm x 535 mm; Frame: 558 mm x 695 mm x 80 mm
Parts
  • HMS 'Kelly' limping home from the Skagerrak (BHC2413)
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