IT’S a fitting gift to one of the Royal Navy’s under-construction warships – and it’s been on an epic journey.
A 1941 watercolour painting of the King George V class battleship HMS Prince of Wales has been handed over to the navy.
The modern HMS Prince of Wales is the second of two new aircraft carriers being built for the Royal Navy.
While the first, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is nearing completion, HMS Prince of Wales is yet to be pieced together.
The former HMS Prince of Wales was sunk by Japanese torpedoes while engaged in battle off the Malayan peninsula in December 1941.
Shortly before her sinking, the ship’s first commanding officer, Captain Louis Hamilton, was presented with a painting of her.
After his death in 1961, his two sisters decided to pass the painting on to the son of the most senior survivor of the sinking, the ship’s engineering officer Commander Lawrence Goudy.
Now, his son John Goudy, decided to present the painting to HMS Queen Elizabeth’s commanding officer to look after until HMS Prince of Wales takes shape.
John said: ‘Visiting Rosyth with my wife Gabrielle to present the watercolour to Captain Simon Petitt is a very proud moment.
‘We’re very happy that the painting can be enjoyed by many modern-day sailors who will be serving on board the new aircraft carriers.
‘I joined the Royal Navy in 1944 as a cadet at BRNC Darmouth.
‘When my father decided to emigrate after the Second World War to Canada in 1948, I transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy.’
John handed the painting over to Capt Petitt on board HMS Queen Elizabeth at its construction site in Rosyth.
Capt Petitt said: ‘It’s a real privilege to be presented with this watercolour of HMS Prince of Wales.
‘We will act as the custodians of the painting until such time we can hand it over to the ship’s company of HMS Prince of Wales here in Rosyth.’
HMS Queen Elizabeth is nearing completion at the Scottish shipyard and will be launched next year.
Sections of HMS Prince of Wales are being built at different shipyards around the country, including some in Portsmouth.