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Fred Jay Girling


HMS Anson at the Firth of Forth Bridge

The Painting

A watercolour measuring 6¾" x 8¼". Signed Fred Jay Girling. Inscribed in pencil ‘HMS Anson’. Provenance: sometime with Mawson, Swan & Morgan, Fine Art Dealers, Grainger Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne (label verso).


About the Artist

Fred Jay Girling (1900-1982), a naval architect, was born in Leicestershire and lived in Wellingborough and Kettering, Northamptonshire. Following the death of his father at Gallipoli during the First World War, the family moved to Belfast where Fred trained in naval architecture with Harland & Wolff. In 1929 he moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to work as a naval architect for the government. He was later posted in Leith as Chief Ship Surveyor for the East Coast of Scotland. He retired in 1965 and was awarded an OBE. In his later years he returned to live in Northamptonshire, in Mears Ashby. He was a self-taught artist and painted mostly watercolours of ships and churches.


The Subject

HMS Anson. HMS Anson was a King George V-class battleship of the Royal Navy, named after Admiral George Anson. She was launched on 24 February 1940 and saw service in the Second World War, escorting nine Russian convoys in the Arctic by December 1943. She accepted the surrender of Japanese forces occupying Hong Kong on 15 August 1945 and after the end of the war she became the flagship of the 1st Battle Squadron of the British Pacific Fleet. She was in active service until 1949. This painting depicts her with the Firth of Forth Bridge in the background.

Fred Jay Girling - HMS Anson at the Firth of Forth Bridge