Monday, 11 November 2013

The Painting


Oils on Board by Wallace Trickett, 30” x 20”

0915 hrs, 21st May, 1941
In the Mediterranean on 21st May 1941, the day after German airborne forces invaded Crete, daylight found the Royal Navy’s Leander Class light cruiser H.M.S. Ajax deployed as part of their Force D to help defend the island from seaborne invasion. At 0825 the ship’s log reads ‘Hands to repel aircraft stations’ to confront an imminent attack by German Heinkel 111 bombers. At 0915 the log reads ‘Attacked by 10 Ju 87 dive bombers, several very near misses with bombs, damage to port shafts’. It is this precise moment which this painting has attempted to capture. Ajax is shown in the painting as working up to high speed commencing an evasive hard turn as her orders were ‘manoeuvre to avoid (air attack)’. This attack ceased at 0922, the whole action had lasted just seven minutes although it must have seemed like an eternity to Ajax’s crew. The Luftwaffe was relentless as a little later at 1050 a pair of Stukas attacked. Then in the afternoon there was another ferocious attack that lasted for 2½ hours followed by a further attack that evening.

The painting commissioned by Clive Sharplin and Wendy White is dedicated to the memory of their father, Robert (Bob) John Sharplin, Chief Mechanician First Class, Chatham Division, Royal Navy, on the 100th anniversary of his birth on June 4th 1911, to his shipmates and all who served in the cruiser H.M.S. Ajax and the Ajax which followed, a frigate, which was in commission from 1963 until 1985. Also to the Town of Ajax in Ontario, Canada, named by its community after this cruiser H.M.S. Ajax.

The painting image and this publication are copyright © Clive R Sharplin, 2011, with all rights reserved.

Photo courtesy of Ajax Town Council ©

A framed print of the Painting was hung in the Town Hall of Ajax, Ontario, Canada, in a small ceremony on 19th January 2012 immediately following the General Government Committee Meeting at which the Print had been presented to the Council. The individuals in the photo were the then Council Members of the Town of Ajax:- Left to right are: Colleen Jordan, Regional Councillor Wards 3 & 4; Joanne Dies, Councillor Ward 3; Marilyn Crawford, Councillor Ward 1; Mayor Steve Parish; (right side of photo) Renrick Ashby, Councillor Ward 2; Pat Brown, Councillor Ward 4; Shaun Collier, Regional Councillor Ward 1 & 2.

The sheer confrontational energy of the painting, with its evocative emotion of the Royal Navy displaying its fighting prowess and other qualities built up over centuries of service to the realm, makes this full colour print a wonderful and very special piece of naval memorabilia. It would be a valued gift for all those connected in any way with HMS Ajax, the Royal Navy or just for those interested in maritime history and militaria.

The full colour prints are available in two sizes to complement your home, study or office décor, photo library or galleries and museums. The print process, based upon an 80+ megapixel camera’s photographic image of the painting combined with the skills of arguably Australia’s finest printer, ensure absolute lifelike ‘true to painting’ definition and colour.

Ajax Limited Edition Fine Art Prints are printed using the Giclée process on specialist certified paper having a life expectancy of over 100 years under gallery conditions, giving maximum paper durability and stability to safeguard the freshness and colours of your Ajax Print for generations to come.

These prints are only available “unframed” for ease of shipment thus offering the owner a personal choice in framing. Each print has a border with the ship’s crest and motto at the top. In the lower border is the title with the date of the action and the artist’s name thus giving the owner a choice of leaving the border on or trimming it off. All Ajax Prints are despatched rolled in a strong cardboard tube; within Australia by registered post and for overseas deliveries by registered airmail. A leaflet fully describing the action depicted accompanies each print.
It is also available as a folded Greetings Card with blank interior.

Refer to the Order Page for details of these uniquely numbered Limited Edition Fine Art Prints, prices and worldwide delivery etc.

Jerry Kirk (Guest Speaker), Ken Jones (A&RPVA), Admiral “Tubby” Jones (Guest), Peter Danks (President A&RPVA)
Photo by Cliff Hoppe ©, courtesy of the HMS Ajax & River Plate Veterans Association Archive
A Print of the Painting was donated by Bob’s children, Clive Sharplin and Wendy White, to the HMS
Ajax & River Plate Veterans Association at their 2011 Annual General Meeting (pictured above).




Print available in two sizes:

Full size with borders 36” x 28” (91.4 x 71.1cms), Image size 30” x 20” (76.2 x 50.8cms)
Half size with borders 19” x 15” (48.3 x 38.1cms), Image size 15” x 10” (38.1 x 25.4cms)

Also available as a greeting card:

A single folded greeting card with plain interior in packs of 5, overall size 11.75” x 3.9” (30 x 10 cms)

Order Here

(None But Ajax Can Overcome Ajax)

Ajax Prints ®
Victoria Australia
ABN (Australian Business Number): 53 509 791 496