Sinking of GWR Steamer St. David

about 1946
Charles Pears

Painting, oils on canvas, Sinking of Great Western Railway Steamer St. David off Anzio, 24th January 1944, by Charles Pears, about 1946. Depicts the sinking of the GWR ferry St David while serving as a hospital ship during Operation Shingle, the Allied landings at Anzio in Italy during the Second World War. The St David is painted as a hospital ship, white with a green stripe and large red crosses on the hull and funnel. In the background are two other hospital ships, probably intended to represent the Leinster and St Andrew. Bombs splash in the sea next to the St David and the ship's lifeboats are alongside evacuating survivors. Overhead is a twin engine German bomber and there are two orange flares lighting up the sky. Signed by the artist at bottom left, "Chas. Pears". A plaque on the frame reads "Charles Pears R.O.I., Sinking of G.W.R. steamer 'St David' (Converted to hospital ship) off Anzio, 24th January 1944". There are gummed labels on the reverse. A damaged Royal Institute of Oil Painters label records that the painting was "Commissioned by the Great Western". Two labels indicate that the frame was made by James Bourlet & Sons of Nassau Street, London. A label records that the BRB property number was 73, and another label reads "C694F". Framed, unglazed.


Pictorial Collection (Railway)
Object Number:
canvas, oil paint
overall; frame: 932 mm x 1262 mm x 52 mm,
overall; image: 780 mm x 1112 mm

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