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Capt Simon Petitt and Lt Cdr John Goudy RCN
Next to Queen Elizabeth carrier

Watercolour of wartime warship presented to modern successor

Published: 25 Jul 2013

A 1941 watercolour painting of the King George V Class Battleship, HMS Prince of Wales has been presented to the Senior Naval Officer, Captain Simon Petitt, on board the new Queen Elizabeth class carrier.

HMS Prince of Wales is the second of the Royal Navy’s new carriers currently in build at shipyards around the country – the first being the HMS Queen Elizabeth which is gradually nearing completion.

The former HMS Prince of Wales was sunk by Japanese torpedoes while engaged in battle off the Malayan peninsular near Singapore with the Japanese Imperial Navy in December 1941.

However shortly before her sinking, the first Commanding Officer Captain Louis Hamilton was presented with a painting of her from Australian painter Arthur James Wetherall Burgess, and then subsequently left the ship for his next post.

Following his death in 1961, his two sisters decided to pass the painting onto the son of the most senior survivor of the sinking - Commander Lawrence Goudy, the ship’s engineering officer. He had also been awarded with the Distinguished Service Order for his significant achievements in the sinking of the German Battleship Bismarck.

His son, John Goudy, a Lieutenant Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy decided to present the painting to Captain Petitt ready for when HMS Prince of Wales begins to take shape.

Captain Petitt said: 

“It is a real privilege to be presented with this watercolour of HMS Prince of Wales. 

"We will act as the custodian of the painting until such time we can hand it over to the ships’ company of HMS Prince of Wales here in Rosyth.”

John Goudy said: 

“I joined the RN in 1944 as a Cadet at BRNC Dartmouth. 

"When my father decided to emigrate after WW2 to Canada in 1948, I transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy. 

"During my 32 year Naval career, I enjoyed appointments as a Sonar Officer, Training Officer and also had an exchange with the Royal Navy for several years.

“Visiting Rosyth with my wife Gabrielle to present the watercolour to Captain Petitt, is a very proud moment and we are very happy that the painting can be enjoyed by many modern day sailors who will be serving onboard the new aircraft carriers.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth and the second carrier, the HMS Prince of Wales, are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance made up of the MOD, Babcock, BAE Systems and Thales. 

The carriers will be the centrepiece of Britain's military capability and will routinely operate 12 of the carrier-variant Joint Strike Fighter jets.

Each carrier will have nine decks, plus a flight deck the size of three football pitches, and two propellers weighing 33 tonnes – or nearly two-and-a-half times as heavy as a double-decker bus – capable of driving the ship at a maximum speed of over 25 knots (46km/h).

The vessels will form the cornerstone of Britain's ability to project military power overseas, and will be used for operations ranging from providing air support in conflict zones to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.


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