Limited edition print from an original oil on canvas dated 1998. Edition size: 800
445 x 325 mm
Reproduced by kind permission of the owner of the original, Rear Admiral N S R Kilgour CB. The Type 23 Duke Class frigates, of which 16 were built for the RN between 1989 and 2002, were designed for anti submarine operations. The ships, 133 m long and displacing 3500 tons, have inevitably found themselves undertaking every manner of task around the world and with their 114mm gun, Seawolf and Harpoon missiles and Lynx or Merlin helicopter, they are clearly very useful ships across a range of capabilities. Recent hopelessly improvident defence cuts have seen several of the class paid off prematurely.
Richard Willis, who has been painting the sea and ships for some 60 years (he exhibited at the RA’s summer exhibition when only 17), served in the RNVR in WWII. With previous experience of Combined Operations he found himself, 2 years later, landing American tanks on Omaha Beach in the D Day landings and he then went on to Italy. Returning to civilian life in 1946 he has exhibited at a range of galleries and other prestigious locations and his art and sculpture is to be found in many private and public collections in Britain and abroard.