34 Photographs and Paintings, HMT River Clyde, 1905 - 1966

James Kay RSA RSW (British, 1858-1942) Launch on the Clyde 30 x 45 cm. (11 13/16 x 17 11/16 in.)
James Kay RSA RSW (British, 1858-1942)
Launch on the Clyde 
signed 'James Kay RSW' (lower right)
oil on canvas
30 x 45 cm. (11 13/16 x 17 11/16 in.

SS River Clyde was a 3,913 GRT British collier built by Russell & Co of Port Glasgow on the Firth of Clyde and completed in March 1905. In the First World War the Admiralty requisitioned her for the Royal Navy and in 1915 she took part in the Gallipoli landings. More

James Kay (22 October 1858 - 26 September 1942) was a Scottish artist notable for his paintings of the landscapes and shipping around the River Clyde. Born on the Isle of Arran, Kay spent much of his working life with a studio in Glasgow and living at Portincaple on Loch Long in Argyll and Bute. He was elected to the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW) in 1906 and to the Royal Scottish Academy in 1938. He had one daughter, artist Violet McNeish Kay. More

CLYDE RIVER SS, built by Russell & Co. in 1905. This vessel subsequently Became Well Known for her part in the Gallipoli campaign.  From the book SHIPBUILDING FROM OLD CLYDE PHOTOGRAPHS.jpg
CLYDE RIVER SS, built by Russell & Co. in 1905

Allfree, Geoffrey Stephen, (1889 – 1918) 
SS River Clyde and the Bridge of Boats at Helles, c. 1915
Watercolour on paper
Height 342 mm,  Width 512 mm
Imperial War Museum

Early in 1915 River Clyde was adapted to be a landing ship for the joint French and British invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Openings were cut in her steel hull as sally ports from which troops would emerge onto gangways and then to a bridge of smaller boats from the ship to the beach. Boiler plate and sandbags were mounted on her bow, and behind them a battery of 11 machine guns was installed. The machine gun battery was manned by Royal Naval Air Service men commanded by Josiah Wedgwood. Work began on painting River Clyde's hull sandy yellow as camouflage, but this was incomplete by the time of the landing.

Geoffrey Stephen Allfree (11/02/1889 – 29/09/1918) was born to Rev Francis Allfree. Although  a  trained  mariner his career  had  changed  direction by 1911,  when he is described as a painter whilst  staying  at  Church  Cottages,  Stopham  in  Sussex.  When  war  broke  out,  he  volunteered  in  October  1914  and  was commissioned  a  Sub-‐Lieutenant  in  the  RNVR.  He  served  initially  in  the  Royal Naval  Division,  despite  its  name  an  infantry  division  formed  of  surplus  to requirement  reservists  and  volunteers  from  the  Royal  Navy  and  Royal  Marines.

Geoffrey Stephen Allfree married Alice Maud Mary Godwin in 1914.

In January 1918 he was made an official war artist. In  September  1918,  Allfree  lost  his  life  whilst  in command  of  HMML  247; A  four boat  flotilla  of Motor  Launches  had  entered  St  Ives  Bay  for  shelter  during  a  strong  southerly gale,  which  rapidly  escalated  to  hurricane  force  winds.  In  the  eye  of  the  storm,the  Motor  Launches  started  engines  and  tried  desperately  to  work  their  way  into  deeper  water.  Allfree’s  launch  developed  engine  trouble,  one  mile  off  Clodgy Point  and  started  to  drift  helplessly  towards  Oar  Rock.  The  St.  Ives’  lifeboat  raced to  reach  the  stricken  ship,  but  arrived  minutes  too  late  by  which  time  the  launch  had  blown  up  on  impact  with  the  rock,  presumably  as  its  depth  charges detonated.  There was only one survivor. More

Surgeon Oscar Parkes
SS RIVER CLYDE shortly before beaching herself on 'V' Beach at Cape Helles, Gallipoli, 25 April 1915.

V Beach landing 25/04/1915 image
The view of V Beach shortly after the attempted landing by the 1st Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers at approximately 06.25,  25th April 1915.

This photo was probably taken from starboard side of River Clyde. On the beach head can be seen the huddled figures of men of the Munster battalion and Dublin battalion who made it to the beach, seeking cover of a sand bank. The Munster's landing from the River Clyde until they were stopped, and the Dublin's landing from tow boats. This is the scene shortly after the initial attempts to land in daylight, the barge and tethered ships boat being the only access to shore. The other connecting boats to the beach could not be anchored into position, due to the combination of a strong current and massive fire power from the Turkish defender's.  More

File:The Base Camp, Cape Helles, Under Shell Fire, August 1915- the 'ss River Clyde' is seen aground. Art.IWMART2450.jpg
Wilkinson, Norman
The Base Camp, Cape Helles, Under Shell Fire, August 1915- the "ss River Clyde" is seen aground
Watercolour on paper
Imperial War Museum

A scene of several troop-ships under fire from the shore in a rough sea. To the left of the composition, the 'River Clyde' is run aground and listing to one side. Over to the right another ship is seen vanishing beneath the surface, and there are two small boats filled with troops in the foreground. A high sand-coloured cliff runs almost the length of the composition in the background, and a clear sky above. From the surrounding gunfire there are two large sprays rising from the sea, and two clouds of grey smoke. More

Norman Wilkinson CBE RI (24 November 1878 – 31 May 1971) was a British artist who usually worked in oils, watercolors and drypoint. He was primarily a marine painter, but he was also an illustrator, poster artist, and wartime camoufleur. Wilkinson invented "Dazzle Painting", World War I camouflage, to protect merchant shipping during World War I. More

Charles Edward Dixon
British Troops from the River Clyde Land at V Beach, Gallipoli, 25th April 1915 
St Mary's Parish Church Chepstow Gwent Wales

Charles Edward Dixon (8 December 1872 - 12 September 1934) was a British maritime painter of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, whose work was highly successful and regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy. Several of his paintings are held by the National Maritime Museum and he was a regular contributing artist to magazines and periodicals. He lived at Itchenor in Sussex and died in 1934. More

Shortly before midnight on April the 24th the flotilla left for the Peninsula. The River Clyde grounded 40 yards from the beach before the tows reached the beach, almost immediately a devastating fire caught the crowded boats and within a few minutes terrible losses had been inflicted, men trying to escape jumped into the water and a large amount drowned due to there heavy equipment. Commander Unwin managed to get three lighters in tow on her starboard side into position to make a bridge, giving the troops a chance to dash along the gangways to shore. Only a handful achieved their purpose and the gangways were soon filled with dead and wounded. The sailor helping Commander Unwin was killed and the lighters drifted into deeper water. More

Charles Dixon RA. (1872-1934)
The collier "River Clyde" disembarking 'V' Beach, Gallipoli, 25th April 1915
St Mary’s Priory & Parish Church Chepstow

Charles Dixon RA. (1872-1934)
The collier "River Clyde" disembarking 'V' Beach, Gallipoli, 25th April 1915

Detail of Gallipoli painting depicting the SS River Clyde
Charles Dixon RA. (1872-1934)
The collier "River Clyde" disembarking 'V' Beach, Gallipoli, 25th April 1915
Detail 2

Detail of Gallipoli painting depicting the SS River Clyde
Charles Dixon RA. (1872-1934)
The collier "River Clyde" disembarking 'V' Beach, Gallipoli, 25th April 1915
Detail 3

A vintage illustration of Irish and Australian soldiers landing at Gallipoli off the troop ship, the 'River Clyde' to begin the Dardanelles Campaign during World War One on 25th April 1915. 

A Turkish shell bursts near the hulk of the River Clyde, the ship which landed on day one of the Gallipoli invasion 

Brooks, Ernest (Lieutenant) (Photographer)
Imperial War Museum

Ernest Brooks (23 February 1878 — after 1936) was a British photographer, best known for his war photography from the First World War. He was the first official photographer to be appointed by the British military, and produced several thousand images between 1915 and 1918, more than a tenth of all British official photographs taken during the war. His work was often relatively posed and formal, but several of his less conventional images are marked by a distinctive use of silhouette. Before and immediately after the war he worked as an official photographer to the Royal Family, but was dismissed from this appointment and stripped of his official honours in 1925. More

Le Pays de France , No. 221, January 9, 1919, p. 10.

The SS RIVER CLYDE which, loaded with troops, was run ashore on 'V' beach at Sedd el Bahr on Cape Helles during the Gallipoli landings.

Graham C N (Lt)
Imperial War Museum

Bombardment and Landings: Machine guns and armour being fitted to the SS RIVER CLYDE for the landing at 'V' Beach, Cape Helles. More

James Clark (1858–1943) 
River Clyde, Gallipoli, c. 1915
39 x 51.5 cm
Oil on canvas on board
Austrailian War Memorial

The picture shows the ship "River Clyde" at Gallipoli. the ship the 'River Clyde' is pictured at a pontoon wharf being loaded or unloaded. Three men are on the wharf and there are several other vessels in the background. in the foreground are three row boats and what appears to be a Gallipoli landing boat. Lower left corner shows a stack of artillery shells. More

James Clark (1858–1943) was a provincial English painter born in West Hartlepool, in north-east England. He rose to prominence in 1914 when his painting entitled The Great Sacrifice was reproduced as the souvenir print issued by The Graphic illustrated newspaper. More

SS RIVER CLYDE beached at 'V' Beach during the Cape Helles landings. Note the 'Old Castle' or Sedd el Bahr Kale in the background. More
Imperial War Museum

SS RIVER CLYDE beached at 'V' Beach during the Cape Helles landings. Note the boat, numbered 323, full of troops on the side of the RIVER CLYDE. More
Imperial War Museum

Hillier, Herbert
River Clyde Aground on V Beach, May 18th 1915
Watercolour on paper
Imperial War Museum

The SS River Clyde run aground on V Beach surrounded by other smaller vessels and shrouded in smoke from artillery fire. Sedd-el-Bahr is just beyond, but is completely covered by smoke. More

Hillier, Herbert
Helles Sector, 10am, May 18th 1915
Pencil on paper
Height 149 mm, Width 220 mm
Imperial War Museum

Royal Navy warships off Cape Helles. In the right foreground, battleship HMS Implacable sails towards land, with a French destroyer and HMS Majestic to the left. SS River Clyde, deliberately run aground on V Beach during the initial landings, is visible in the centre, with the Sedd-el-Bahr fort overlooking the beach. Clouds of smoke show where shells have fallen. More

Frank Henry Mason (1 October 1875 – 24 February 1965)
Sedd-el-Bahr : the transport "River Clyde" at the corner of the Spit, and salvage steamers standing by to refloat her
Watercolour on paper
Imperial War Museum

Seascape with a low headland in front of darker hills. In the middle ground a small vessel is under way, while to the right part of a merchant ship is visible near the headland, with other small vessels nearby. More

Frank Henry Mason (1 October 1875 – 24 February 1965), RBA, RI, RSMA was an artist best known for his maritime, shipping, coastal and harbour paintings, and as a creator of art deco travel and railway posters. His style is described as 'light impressionist' and he was a founder member of the Staithes Art Club whose members are known today as the Staithes group of artists, or the Northern Impressionists. More

William Lionel Wyllie  (London 5 July 1851 – 6 April 1931 London)
Gallipoli: V-Beach and the fort of Sedd-el-Bahr, seen from the 'River Clyde', 25 April 1915, circa 1915
Watercolour, heightened with white
301 mm x 470 mm
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection

William Lionel Wyllie (often simply W L Wyllie) (London 5 July 1851 – 6 April 1931 London) was a prolific English painter of maritime themes in both oils and watercolours. He has been described as "the most distinguished marine artist of his day." His work is in the Tate, the Royal Academy, the Imperial War Museum, the National Maritime Museum and many other institutions around the world. More

On 25 April 1915 River Clyde sailed to take part in the landing at Cape Helles. She was carrying 2,000 soldiers; mostly from 86th Brigade units of the 29th Division: the 1st Battalion of the Royal Munster Fusiliers and men from the 1st Battalion, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.

The River Clyde lands at Sedd-el-Bahr, 1915

Mary Beattie Scott
Landing at ‘V’ Beach, Cape Helles, Turkey on 25th April 1915 from the Collier the River Clyde. 
Clay Marquette
St Paul's Cathedral

Unwin beached River Clyde at V Beach beneath the Sedd el Bahr castle, on the tip of the Gallipoli peninsula. The plan failed and the River Clyde, beached under the guns of the Turkish defenders, became a death trap. Three attempts to land all ended in costly failure. Further landing attempts were abandoned and the surviving soldiers waited until nightfall before trying again.

Graham C N (Lt), Photographer
The converted steamer, SS RIVER CLYDE, anchored at 'V' Beach, after the allied landings at Gallipoli, Spring 1915
Imperial War Museum

Members of River Clyde's crew maintained the bridge from the ship to the beach and recovered the wounded. For their bravery six of them were decorated with Victoria Crosses. More

Frank H Mason
HM Submarine M1 off Sedd-el-Bahr : salvage operations in progress on the transport "River Clyde"
Oil on canvas
Height 762 mm, Width 1270 mm

The submarine monitor HMS/M M1 at sea off the Turkish coast near Sedd-el-Bahr, with the rusted remains of the SS River Clyde in the background by the coastline. More

The converted steamer ‘River Clyde’, Gallipoli, Spring 1915
The National Musium

The ‘River Clyde’ remained beached at Helles as a dock and breakwater. As well as being used for storage she also housed a field dressing station. From an album of 49 official photographs entitled, ‘The War 1914-1918’. Photograph, World War One, Gallipoli (1915). More

The artificial harbor of Sed-ul-Bahr, with the beached River Clyde

Sketch of 'V' Beach

Upon the allies leaving the region, in December, the RIVER CLYDE was abandoned and left aground on the coast.

In 1919, River Clyde was refloated by the Ocean Salvage Co. and taken to Malta. The British Government refused a proposal to purchase her to return to the UK for mooring in the River Thames as a monument to the landings because of the cost. Consequently she was repaired at Malta and sold to civilian Spanish owners. 

A small sea-lion, representing Great Britain, with flippers impaled on points of Turkish crescent. The cartoon refers to the British defeat by Turkey in the Dardanelles campaign, 1915.
Library of Congress

Sanchez Jaume Cifre collection

She operated as a tramp steamer in the Mediterranean, first as Angela and then Maruja y Aurora. Maruja and Aurora were the names of the eldest child of each of the two partners in the company, Gumersindo Junquera Blanco and Vicente Figaredo Herrero.

She was seized by Spanish Nationalist forces at Santander in August 1937 and used by the Nationalist navy, during which time she captured the steamship Margarita. 

Margarita SS (1902~1922)

She made trips between Santander and Ferrol, and carried troops between Gijon and Bilbao. Returned to her former owners 18 months later, she resumed her previous commercial role, and she rescued three British airmen during World War II.

In 1965 there was an attempt to buy and preserve River Clyde but, again,  the British Government were unwilling to purchase her, and in 1966 she was sold for £42,000 for scrap and broken up at Avil├ęs, Spain. More

 ‘River Clyde’ seen at Malta after being salvaged in 1919

I was unable to find any biographies for Mary Beattie Scott,  Herbert Hillier, 
Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others

No comments:

Post a Comment