Print of 'Roughers off Port Stanley - 1982' by Adrian Thompson
Print of 'Roughers off Port Stanley - 1982' by Adrian Thompson
This painting by marine artist Adrian Thompson shows two of the five Hull trawlers that were hurriedly brought into Royal Naval service in April 1982 to sweep mines in the South Atlantic during the Falklands conflict. Manned entirely by the Royal Navy, mainly from crews of'Ton' Class minesweepers and hunters in maintenance, these brave little ships performed many vital tasks in support of land operations before clearing the Argentine minefields off Port Stanley.
The scene depicted is taken from a photograph by Mick Atkinson, one of the two hard working radio operators onboard HMS Pict, while the Squadron was between minesweeping operations following the cessation of hostilities 14 June 1982. Note the minesweeping 'tin gear' slung on the stern of the two ships and Junella's 'Jumbo' float. It shows a ‘typical day in the office’ whereby the ships would come together to collect their messages in turn by heaving line from the duty communications ship, sometimes twice or even three times during the day. Here, HMS Junella dips her nose into a large wave as she makes an approach on HMS Cordella that manages to slide over the top of the wave. Men can be seen working Flag Romeo to bring the ships alongside and a lone figure on Junella can be made out waiting to take Cordella’s heaving line, just as the wave engulfs him.
Minesweeping was particularly hazardous in these sea states for, although the ships could sweep in these conditions, it was difficult to spot the mines floating on the surface once they had been swept. Other ships following on then ran the risk of running into them. One of the live mines was recovered for further investigation in an operation made even more difficult by the rough weather. After several attempts, a small team of mine warfare specialists comprising Chief Petty Officer ‘Tex'‘ Marshall and Leading Seaman ‘Smudge’ Smith led by Lieutenant ‘Bernie’ Bruen, Royal Navy attached a tow rope to the mine, dangerously nudging the mine’s horns in the process. HMS Junella then recovered the team as conditions worsened and towed the mine inshore where it was subsequently beached and then made safe by Lieutenant Bruen supported by Clearance Divers from his unit, Fleet CD Team 3.
Bernie had asked to be issued with a war stock EOD tool kit before deploying from UK but this had been refused. Apparently it would be required instead should war break out in the interim. Using a hammer and a screwdriver borrowed from Junella and finally using a blob of plastic explosive to remove the last bolt on what could be a booby trapped fuse, he made the mine safe. The hair raising account of the operation to recover and render the mine safe is contained in his book ’Keep Your Head Down’ ISBN 1 85776 262 6 by Bernie Bruen. If you would like to purchase a copy then please get in touch through the ‘Contact Us’ page
Prints of 'Roughers Off Port Stanley - 1982' (520 mm x 330 mm) have been produced to the highest standard on a Ricoh Pro C9100 Digital Press on high grade, acid free paper.
- Firstly, a limited edition series of 141 prints, signed and numbered by the artist 1/141 to 141/141 is offered for sale, that number being the entire complement of officers and men of the five ships. The Souls On Board lists that were sent ashore in the event of loss of any of the ships, taken with the seniority order of the ships, provide each member of the 11th Mine Countermeasures Squadron with his own unique Squadron number. Each print number thus represents and honours an individual who served in the 11th Mine Countermeasures Squadron for the brief four months of its existence. This edition is available to all and those who served in the 11th MCM are invited to use the 'Contact Us' form for details of their own unique number.
- Print No. 141 of 141 has gone to former Leading Stores Accountant Andy 'Charlie' Watts who was the last sailor to join the Squadron. Four ships had already left Rosyth for the South Atlantic in late April and HMS Pict was within one hour of sailing when 'Charlie' was ordered to pack a bag and sent to make himself useful to the five ships.
- A skilled professional he had a knack of acquiring essential stores from other ships that the Squadron encountered; a side of beef and 30 camp beds from QE2; from various merchant ships and RFAs he ‘borrowed’ tins of paint to camouflage the ships' white upper works and from other warships, vital lamp bulbs for the Squadron's visual signalling Aldis lamps that kept blowing owing to voltage irregularities. On passage home 'Charlie' visited all five ships to muster stores and while in each one raised a total of over £5000 through a darts competition for the benefit of the Guide Dogs for the Blind organisation resulting in a dog called 'Falkland'. Yes, 'Charlie' made himself useful.
- Available also is an Artist's Proof Edition, limited to 28 prints, this being the average number of Royal Navy personnel on each of the five Hull trawlers. This edition is signed and numbered individually by the artist and has been endorsed additionally by the Squadron Senior Officer.
- A Special Edition of 15 prints only has been produced, numbered and signed by the artist with an extra large border, each measuring 556 mm x 330 mm overall to accommodate the signatures of the four surviving commanding officers.
- A small stock of unsigned and unnumbered prints from the printer's over run are offered at a reduced price.
All prints can be supplied framed, please use 'Contact Us' for a quotation.
UK postage and packaging charges are included in the prices quoted. For a tailored overseas quotation (including postage and packaging) prior to committing to an order, please advise which print version you require and your address via the ‘Contact Us’ page. The team will endeavour to provide you with the best cost and time efficient delivery options available.
As an alternative to using Paypal to make your payment, the Charity’s account details are given below, should you wish to effect a direct payment online. You must still complete the ‘Contact Us’ form so we know to whom and where to send the order.
Account Name: Vernon Monument
Sort Code: 52-41-32
Account No: 45667721