~ HMS Cornwall Monmouth Class Armoured Cruiser 1902 1920 Watercolour By Eric Tufnell ~
The watercolour depicts HMS Cornwall on a choppy sea. It is presented in a black and gilt glazed wooden frame with a lined single mount. Pencilled details are to the reverse. It is titled lower left and signed lower right.
~ HMS Cornwall ~
HMS Cornwall was one of 10 Monmouth-class armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She was assigned to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron of the Channel Fleet on completion in 1903. The ship was refitted in 1907 in preparation for service as a training ship for cadets with the 4th Cruiser Squadron on the North America and West Indies Station beginning in 1908.
In 1909 she toured the Mediterranean and the Baltic, where she entertained the Kaiser who visited on his yacht the Hohenzollern at Kiel on 24 June.
Cornwall ran aground in 1911 while trying to free another cruiser, but was successfully refloated and repaired.
She captured a German merchant ship days after the beginning of World War I in August 1914 and was then sent to the Central Atlantic to search for German commerce raiders. Later that year, the ship was assigned to the squadron that destroyed the German East Asia Squadron at the Battle of the Falklands, where she helped to sink a German light cruiser. Cornwall briefly blockaded a German cruiser in East Africa in early 1915 before she was sent to participate in the Dardanelles Campaign a month later. The ship was then transferred to the China Station late in the year and remained there until the end of 1916. She was then transferred to the North America Station that year for convoy escort duties and remained on that duty for the rest of the war. Cornwall became a training ship in 1919 before she was paid off later that year. The ship was sold for scrap in 1920.
~ Eric Erskine Campbell Tufnell ~
Eric Tufnell was born in 1888 and his career in the navy started at the age of 15 where he became a cadet at HMS Britannia. By 1904 he had joined HMS Albion and was appointed the midship man who was required to keep a log book where he kept his sketches, photographs and newspaper cuttings (which is now kept in Surrey County Library’s).
He worked on many naval ships and was part of the operational team to try and salvage the HMS Montague, however eventually turned to servicing the naval submarines. He was promoted to Lieutenant on the HMS C7 in 1910 and gained his first Commander position in 1913 aboard the Submarine HMS A8. He then became a Commander across a selection of submarines including the HMS B8, D4, M18 and more.
He turned to art after he retired from the navy as a way to top up his pension and support his family. The majority of his customers were naval officers who commissioned him to paint accurate depictions of the boats they served on.
He had a studio at the tailors Gieves and Hawkes on The Hard in Old Portsmouth, this work was displayed there, until the premises closure.
~ Condition ~
The watercolour is in excellent condition. The frame is in good order with a few minor chips.
~ Dimensions ~
The frame is 36 cm (14 inches) wide by 28 cm (11 inches) tall.
The exposed watercolour is 26 cm (10 inches) wide by 19 cm (7.5 inches) tall.