(MP107). Alma Claude Burlton Cull (1880-1931). Watercolour signed and undated.
Limited Edition worldwide: 49 copies
Standard size: 21 x 12 ins (53 x 30.5 cms) approx.
Price band: £135- £165
This watercolour by Alma Cull has been signed, unusually for him , in pencil and is not dated: but inspection of key features of the battle cruiser show that this painting of the ship was executed in 1929-30 only a year or so before the artist’s death at the young age of 51. Her foretopmast, fitted for the period when HRH The Prince of Wales had been onboard for the tour of South America in 1924-25, has been landed again, and B (and Y turret) still have their flying off platforms fitted: these were not to be removed until the refits both REPULSE and RENOWN underwent a few years later.
HMS REPULSE had recommissioned in Portsmouth on New Year’s day 1929 under the command of Captain Gerald Dickens CMG RN, grandson of the author Charles Dickens. The great battle cruiser was part of the Battle Cruiser Squadron, Atlantic Fleet HMS HOOD, RENOWN, TIGER and REPULSE - commanded by Rear Admiral A D P R Pound who had himself commanded REPULSE 1920-22, a squadron whose composition rarely allowed for more than three of the four ships to be in commission at once. Indeed, once HOOD had completed her refit in May 1931 and re-commissioned , TIGER, the oldest of the four was herself paid off for disposal (see HMS TIGER under W L Wyllie on this website). In the war that was to follow some ten years after this painting, Gerald Dickens went on to become Britain’s naval attache in the Hague, Admiral Pound to become First Sea Lord and REPULSE herself was to be sunk, together with HMS PRINCE OF WALES, by the Japanese off Malaya in December 1941.