~ Framed W.L.Wyllie Etching “Naval Engagement Of The Q Ship Probus” ~
This fine etching depicts an engagement of the WW1 British Q ship Probus engaging a German submarine in the distance. The submarine has dummy ketch sails set in order to lure in unsuspecting victims. The tables have now been turned.
Probus has fired rounds off from her port side with large splashes in the water both from herself and the return fire.
A note on the reverse reads…
“Naval engagement of the Hush Ship Probus Commanded by Admiral Starling in Commission as a “Q” Ship. 1st World War.”
The etching is signed in pencil to the lower left “W.L Wyllie”.
~ Probus (Thirza)~
The Canadian built 179-ton schooner Thirza was launched at Prince Edward Island in 1865 and served under the names Thirza, Ready, Probus, Brilliantine, Eliocir and Q 30.
Armed with a couple of 12-pounders, having also a motor, carrying a small deck cargo of pit-props, and suitably disguised to resemble a neutral, this schooner, manned by a hardy volunteer crew, used to pretend she was coming across the North Sea, though at first she never went many miles away from the land.
Commanded by Commander Lieut.H.J.Osborne, D.S.C. she sunk enemy a German submarine on the 21st of June 21 1917 in the English Channel.
~ Q Ships ~
Q-ships, also known as Q-boats, decoy vessels, special service ships, or mystery ships, were heavily armed merchant ships with concealed weaponry, designed to lure submarines into making surface attacks. This gave Q-ships the chance to open fire and sink them.
The basic ethos of every Q-ship was to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They were used by the British Royal Navy (RN) during the First World War and by both the RN and the United States Navy during the Second World War (1939–1945), as a countermeasure against German U-boats and Japanese submarines.
~ Dimensions ~
The frame measures 20 inches (51cm) wide by 14 inches (36cm) high.
The etching itself measures 10 inches (26cm) wide by 7 inches (18cm) high.
~ Condition ~
The etching is in very good condition with some tiny pinpoint flecks of foxing. There is some oxidisation around where the mount meets the etching. The frame is brand new and of a high standard. It is ready to hang.