Painting Commemorates Naval Sacrifice
The Historic Dockyard Chatham, 16th October 2001
Unveiling of the painting "The Convoy Got Through"
the most courageous naval actions of the Second World War will be commemorated
at The Historic Dockyard Chatham on Tuesday 16th October at Noon.
The merchant cruiser HMS Jervis Bay
sank with the loss of 198 crewmen, 84 from the Chatham Manning Division. Its
final moments were such an act of bravery that its captain was awarded the VC.
Relatives of those lost, many from Kent, will be attending an unveiling of the
painting "The Convoy Got Through"; by Montague Dawson that has been
loaned to The Historic Dockyard and depicts the famous engagement.
On the 5th November 1940 a convoy of merchant ships were sailing across the
Atlantic Ocean from Nova Scotia to the UK. Only one warship, HMS Jervis Bay,
was escorting them. Shortly after 5pm the German surface raider Admiral Sheer,
a pocket battleship, discovered the vulnerable convoy and opened fire.
HMS Jervis Bay ordered her convoy to scatter before she turned to confront
the enemy alone. The German vessel outgunned the British ship by a massive
margin and within twenty minutes Jervis Bay was reduced to a wreck, quickly
The sacrifice made by Jervis Bay gave the convoy vital time to escape and 31
of the 38 ships reached Britain. Jervis Bay's Captain, E.S. Fogarty Fegen was
posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross "for valour in challenging
hopeless odds and giving his life to save the many ships it was his duty to
The painting has been loaned to The Historic Dockyard Chatham by the
shipping group Furness, Withy and Company. It will be unveiled in The Museum of
The Royal Dockyard by Michael Chappell from Edenbridge Kent , son of Jervis
Bay's Chief Engineer who was killed during the action. Around thirty other
relatives of those lost from the ship will be attending the ceremony.
Dawson, artist of "The Convoy Got Through", served as a
Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during the First World War and
later achieved artistic success with
paintings of large clipper ships under sail. Montague
Dawson died in 1973.