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Vital Support by Robert Taylor.


Vital Support by Robert Taylor.

Crucial to every squadron in the RAF were the unsung heroes of World War II - the ground crew. Without the vital support of these dedicated men who refuelled the aircraft, rearmed them, maintained them and kept them flying, the pilots and aircrew would, quite simply, never have got into the air. Robert Taylors drawing Vital Support shows ground crew bombing up a Mosquito of RAF Bomber Command.
Item Code : DHM2640Vital Support by Robert Taylor. - This Edition
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINTSigned limited edition of 200 prints.

Paper size 14.5 inches x 11 inches (37cm x 28cm) Harrington, Ray
Burbridge, Branse
Barwell, Eric
Tempest, Ken
Winwood, Bert
Broom, T J Tommy
Hilliard, Aubrey
Perks, Geoffrey
Webb, Maurice
Youens, Jack
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
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Other editions of this item : Vital Support by Robert Taylor. DHM2640
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINTDe Havilland Prototype limited edition of 95 prints. Paper size 14.5 inches x 11 inches (37cm x 28cm) Cunningham, John
Cheshire, Leonard
Harrington, Ray
Burbridge, Branse
Barwell, Eric
Tempest, Ken
Winwood, Bert
Broom, T J Tommy
Hilliard, Aubrey
Perks, Geoffrey
Webb, Maurice
Youens, Jack
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
Free
Shipping!
£295.00VIEW EDITION...
General descriptions of types of editions :

Signatures on this item
*The value given for each signature has been calculated by us based on the historical significance and rarity of the signature. Values of many pilot signatures have risen in recent years and will likely continue to rise as they become more and more rare.
NameInfo
The signature of Flight Lieutenant Aubrey Hilly Hilliard

Flight Lieutenant Aubrey Hilly Hilliard
*Signature Value : £25

'Hilly' Hilliard trained as a pilot on Blenheims and Beaufighters, and in April 1943 was posted to 618 Squadron on Mosquitos, specially formed to carry Barnes Wallis's famous bouncing bomb. In August he transferred to the Mosquitos of the Banff Strike Wing. Whilst attacking and damaging a number of U-boats, one of which returned fire, damaging his aircraft. Forty years later 'Hilli' met the U-boat's capitan, Gunther Heinfich, and became good friends.
The signature of Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Perks DFC

Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Perks DFC
*Signature Value : £40

Joining the RAF in July 1941 he trained as a pilot in the USA and was posted to 420 Sqn as part of no 6 Group (RCAF) initially flying Wellingtons. The unit then converted to Halifaxes and he moved firstly to 427 Squadron and then 434 Sqn still flying this aircraft. In November 1944 he joined OTU as an instructor on Halifaxes, converting to Mosquitoes in January 1945. He then joined 571 Sqn as part of the Light Night Strike Force, flying the B Mk XVI and dropping 4000lb cookie bombs over Germany. He left the RAF in 1946 but rejoined, finally leaving in 1958
Flight Lieutenant Ken Tempest
*Signature Value : £15

Pilot, No.139 Squadron.


Flight Lieutenant Ray Harington
*Signature Value : £40

Ray joined the RAF in 1941, completing his training in South Africa. In January 1944 he was posted to 603 Squadron flying Beaufighters in North Africa. Here he teamed up with navigator, Warrant Officer A.E. ‘Bert’ Winwood, and from where they launched attacks across the Mediterranean into Crete, Greece and the Aegean Islands against shipping, harbour installations and enemy aircraft with much success. In December 1944 they were posted to 235 Squadron Coastal Command, part of the Banff Strike Wing, converting to Mosquitos. In April 1945 they were shot down following a strike in the Kattegat, but avoided capture and with the help of the Danish resistance made it home, where they continued to fly again from Banff.


Flying Officer Jack Youens
*Signature Value : £15

Flying Officer Jack Youens went to Gravesend Sea School in 1938 and was on the SS Sacramento as a 16 year old in British Columbia when the 2nd World War broke out. Jack Youens joind the RAF, Bicester O.T.U in July 26th 1944 on Mosquito Conversion, until September 10 1944 along with F/o Scott, F/o Hall, F/o Binnie, F/Lt King, and a F/o Cummimngs who were also there at that time. Whilst there his younger brother Lawrance Youens was killed in action wile serving as a Navigator on Pathfinder Mosquitos. A S/Leader Thomas flew Jack to Gravely to see his C/O. Jack Youens was transfered to Mosquitoes, having been a Staff Pilot at No 2 (OAFU) from September 9th 1942 to Feb 29th 1944. Jacks first introduction to the Mossy was at Swanton Morley, prior to going to Bicester. He was then sent to No 21 Squadron 140 Wing, which included 464 Australian Sqd and 487 Newzealand Sqd, of 2nd Tactical Airforce. Jacks first operations were first from Gravesend and finally at Thorney Island Hants.


Flying Officer Maurice Webb DFM
*Signature Value : £40

Maurice joined the RAF in 1942, and trained as an observer/ wireless operator/ gunner. In October 1943 he was posted to 235 Squadron based at RAF Portreath, flying Beaufighters attacking shipping and harbour installations. In 1944 he converted to Mosquitos, and joined 248 Squadron, moving on to serve with the Banff Strike Wing until March 1945. He was awarded the DFM in August 1944, and then spent time flying in a RAF Walrus on Air Sea Rescue operations. He had flown with Harold Corbin as his co-pilot / observer from 1943 until the end of the war.


The signature of Squadron Leader TJ Tommy Broom DFC (deceased)

Squadron Leader TJ Tommy Broom DFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45

Thomas John Broom was born on January 22 1914 at Portishead, Bristol, and educated at Slade Road School, leaving when he was 14 to work as a garage hand. As soon as he reached his 18th birthday he enlisted in the RAF and trained as an armourer. He served in the Middle East, initially in Sudan, and in 1937 was sent to Palestine to join No 6 Squadron. With the threat of war in Europe, however, there was an urgent need for more air observers; Broom volunteered and returned to Britain for training. In February 1939 he joined No 105 Squadron at Harwell, which was equipped with the Fairey Battle. On the day the Second World War broke out No 105 flew to Reims in northern France to support the British Expeditionary Force, and within three weeks Broom had flown his first reconnaissance over Germany. During a raid on Cologne in November 1940 his aircraft was severely damaged by anti-aircraft fire, but the crew managed to struggle back to England where they were forced to bail out as they ran out of fuel. For the next 12 months Broom served as an instructor. He returned to his squadron in January 1942, just as the Mosquito entered service, and on August 25 was sent to attack a power station near Cologne. As the aircraft flew at treetop height across Belgium, the crew spotted an electricity pylon. The pilot tried to avoid it but the starboard engine struck the top of the pylon and the aircraft ploughed into pine trees. Both men survived the crash, and were picked up by members of the Belgian Resistance. They were escorted to St Jean de Luz by the Belgian-run "Comet" escape line, and Broom crossed the mountains under the aegis of a Spanish Basque guide on September 8; his pilot followed him two weeks later. Twenty-five years after the event Broom returned to St Jean de Luz to meet the woman who had sheltered him from the Germans. After the German advance into the Low Countries on May 10 1940, the Battle squadrons were thrown against Panzers and attacked the crucial bridges across the main rivers, suffering terrible losses. After the fall of France, Broom and some of his comrades managed to reach Cherbourg to board a ship for England. No 105 Squadron was re-equipped with the Blenheim, and during the Battle of Britain Broom attacked the German barges assembling at the Channel ports in preparation for an invasion of England. After spending a period as an instructor at 13 OTU he rejoined 105 Squadron on Mosquitoes, they were in fact the first squadron in the RAF to receive them. Through early 1942 he was navigator on many of the daylight raids carried out by 105 Squadron. In August 1943 Tommy Broom was the chief ground instructor at the Mosquito Training Unit when he first met his namesake Flight Lieutenant Ivor Broom (later Air Marshal Sir Ivor Broom), an experienced low-level bomber pilot. They immediately teamed up and flew together for the remainder of the war, in 163 Squadron as part of the Light Night Strike Force forming a formidable on Mosquitoes including the low level attack on the Dortmund - Ems Canal and completing 58 operations together, including 22 to Berlin. Known as The Flying Brooms Initially they joined No 571 Squadron as part of Air Vice-Marshal Don Bennetts Pathfinder Force, and on May 26 1944 they flew their first operation, an attack on Ludswigshafen. On August 9 they took part in a spectacular night-time mission to drop mines in the Dortmund-Ems Canal. They descended rapidly from 25,000ft to fly along the canal at 150ft, releasing their mines under heavy anti-aircraft fire. The force of eight Mosquitos closed the canal for a number of weeks. Tommy Brooms brilliant navigation had helped ensure the success of the raid, and he was awarded a DFC. The Brooms took part in another daring attack on New Years Day 1945. In order to stem the flow of German reinforcements to the Ardennes, the RAF mounted operations to sever the rail links leading to the area, and the Brooms were sent to block the tunnel at Kaiserslauten. They were approaching the tunnel at low level just as a train was entering it. They dropped their 4,000lb bomb, with a time delay fuse, in the entrance and 11 seconds later it exploded, completely blocking the tunnel – the train did not emerge. Tommy Broom received a Bar to his DFC and his pilot was awarded a DSO. When Ivor Broom was given command of No 163 Squadron, Tommy went with him as the squadrons navigation leader and they flew together until the end of the war. Their last five operations were to Berlin, where searchlights posed a perpetual problem. On one occasion they were coned for as long as a quarter of an hour. After twisting, turning and diving to escape the glare, Ivor Broom asked his disoriented navigator for a course to base. Tommy replied: "Fly north with a dash of west, while I sort myself out." A few weeks later Tommy Broom was awarded a second Bar to his DFC – an extremely rare honour for a bomber navigator. Tommy Broom left the RAF in September 1945, but he and his pilot remained close friends until Sir Ivors death in 2003. Sadly Tommy Broom passed away on 18th May 2010


Warrant Officer Bert Winwood (deceased)
*Signature Value : £40

WO A.E. 'Bert' Winwood was a Navigator on Mosquitoes and Beaufighters, flew only with pilot Ray Harrington attached to 603 sqn in the Greek Campaign. Bert did his Navigator training in Canada and in January 1944 was posted to 603 Squadron on Beaufighters, based at Gambut, near Tobruk. From here they launched attacks right across the Mediterranean into Crete, Greece and the Aegean Islands against shipping, harbour installations and enemy aircraft with much success. In December 1944 he was posted to 235 Squadron at RAF Banff flying as navigator on Mosquito's flying in the Banff Strike Wing. In April 1945 he was shot down when returning from a strike in the Kattegat, he and his pilot Ray Harrington avoided capture, and with the help of the Danish resistance made it home to England. After a short rest he continued to fly again from RAF Banff, he left the RAF in 1946. Bert Winwood passed away in 2012.
The signature of Wing Commander Branse Burbridge DSO* DFC*

Wing Commander Branse Burbridge DSO* DFC*
*Signature Value : £50

Posted to 85 Squadron on night-fighters in October 1941, Branse Burbridge flew Havocs on his first tour, scoring just a single claim, but when he returned to 85 Squadron for a second tour - this time on Mosquitos, he was far more successful. His first enemy kill was in Febraury 1944 when he shot down a Messerschmitt 410 fighter plane off the Sussex coast. On the night of March 24, 1944 he became embroiled in a life-or-death dogfight with a Dornier 217 bomber over the Channel. His Mosquito chased the aircraft from 19,000ft to just 3,000ft before it crashed into the sea, with Wg Cmdr Burbridge pulling up with just 1,000ft to spare. During the period of the build up to the invasion of Normandy, and after, together with his radar navigator, Bill Skelton, They flew 30 sorties over Germany to provide escort cover to RAF bombers. His greatest achievement came on November 4, 1944 during a bombing raid over Bonn. He shot down three Junkers 88 bombers and a Me 110, firing just 200 rounds in the process. In total they claimed 21 victories in a ten month spell. In the days after D-Day, he shot down a Junkers 88 bomber on the France/Belgium border that was piloted by Major Herget, who was credited with 72 aerial victories. In June 1944 he also shot down three V-1s. With his final air victory, in January 1945, he passed the total set by John Cats Eyes Cunningham to become the highest scoring RAF night fighter Ace of the war. Following the war Wg Cmdr Burbridge studied theology at Oxford before becoming a lay preacher for the Scripture Union. He now lives in care in Chorleywood, Herts.


Wing Commander Eric Barwell (deceased)
*Signature Value : £20

Born in Suffolk in August 1913, Eric Barwell joined the RAFVR in 1938 to train as a pilot. He was commissioned into No.264 Sqn in February 1940, flying the Boulton-Paul Defiant. His squadron flew in support of the evacuation of Dunkirk, and he claimed two Me109s, two Ju87 Stukas and a Heinkel during this evacuation. However, in the combat with the Heinkel, his aircraft was damaged and he was forced to ditch, managing to put it down in the water between two British destroyers. He and his gunner were rescued by HMS Malcolm. On 24th August, while scrambling to intercept bombers, he and his wingman were attacked by five fighters, his wingman being immediately shot down. His gunner managed to shoot down one of the enemy fighters before the Defiant managed to escape, but it was clear that the aircraft was no match for the German fighters. They were withdrawn from combat and used in a night-time training role. Barwell was awarded the DFC for the six victories scored. In April 1941, he scored a night-time victory over a Heinkel, with a second also probable. He transferred to No.125 Sqn flying Beaufighters, claiming a Dornier damaged on 1st July 1942. By March 1943, No.125 Sqn were equipped with Mosquitoes. He shot down two Ju-88s in this aircraft, and also recorded his final victory, over a V-1 rocket. He was awarded the bar to his DFC and transferred to various experimental squadrons before leaving the RAF in September 1945. Sadly, Eric Barwell died on 12th December 2007.
The Aircraft :
NameInfo
MosquitoUsed as a night fighter, fighter bomber, bomber and Photo-reconnaissance, with a crew of two, Maximum speed was 425 mph, at 30,300 feet, 380mph at 17,000ft. and a ceiling of 36,000feet, maximum range 3,500 miles. the Mosquito was armed with four 20mm Hospano cannon in belly and four .303 inch browning machine guns in nose. Coastal strike aircraft had eight 3-inch Rockets under the wings, and one 57mm shell gun in belly. The Mossie at it was known made its first flight on 25th November 1940, and the mosquito made its first operational flight for the Royal Air Force as a reconnaissance unit based at Benson. In early 1942, a modified version (mark II) operated as a night fighter with 157 and 23 squadron's. In April 1943 the first De Haviland Mosquito saw service in the Far east and in 1944 The Mosquito was used at Coastal Command in its strike wings. Bomber Commands offensive against Germany saw many Mosquitos, used as photo Reconnaissance aircraft, Fighter Escorts, and Path Finders. The Mosquito stayed in service with the Royal Air Force until 1955. and a total of 7781 mosquito's were built.
Artist Details : Robert Taylor
Click here for a full list of all artwork by Robert Taylor


Robert Taylor

The name Robert Taylor has been synonymous with aviation art over a quarter of a century. His paintings of aircraft, more than those of any other artist, have helped popularise a genre which at the start of this remarkable artist's career had little recognition in the world of fine art. When he burst upon the scene in the mid-1970s his vibrant, expansive approach to the subject was a revelation. His paintings immediately caught the imagination of enthusiasts and collectors alike . He became an instant success. As a boy, Robert seemed always to have a pencil in his hand. Aware of his natural gift from an early age, he never considered a career beyond art, and with unwavering focus, set out to achieve his goal. Leaving school at fifteen, he has never worked outside the world of art. After two years at the Bath School of Art he landed a job as an apprentice picture framer with an art gallery in Bath, the city where Robert has lived and worked all his life. Already competent with water-colours the young apprentice took every opportunity to study the works of other artists and, after trying his hand at oils, quickly determined he could paint to the same standard as much of the art it was his job to frame. Soon the gallery was selling his paintings, and the owner, recognising Roberts talent, promoted him to the busy picture-restoring department. Here, he repaired and restored all manner of paintings and drawings, the expertise he developed becoming the foundation of his career as a professional artist. Picture restoration is an exacting skill, requiring the ability to emulate the techniques of other painters so as to render the damaged area of the work undetectable. After a decade of diligent application, Robert became one of the most capable picture restorers outside London. Today he attributes his versatility to the years he spent painstakingly working on the paintings of others artists. After fifteen years at the gallery, by chance he was introduced to Pat Barnard, whose military publishing business happened also to be located in the city of Bath. When offered the chance to become a full-time painter, Robert leapt at the opportunity. Within a few months of becoming a professional artist, he saw his first works in print. Roberts early career was devoted to maritime paintings, and he achieved early success with his prints of naval subjects, one of his admirers being Lord Louis Mountbatten. He exhibited successfully at the Royal Society of Marine Artists in London and soon his popularity attracted the attention of the media. Following a major feature on his work in a leading national daily newspaper he was invited to appear in a BBC Television programme. This led to a string of commissions for the Fleet Air Arm Museum who, understandably, wanted aircraft in their maritime paintings. It was the start of Roberts career as an aviation artist. Fascinated since childhood by the big, powerful machines that man has invented, switching from one type of hardware to another has never troubled him. Being an artist of the old school, Robert tackled the subject of painting aircraft with the same gusto as with his large, action-packed maritime pictures - big compositions supported by powerful and dramatic skies, painted on large canvases. It was a formula new to the aviation art genre, at the time not used to such sweeping canvases, but one that came naturally to an artist whose approach appeared to have origins in an earlier classical period. Roberts aviation paintings are instantly recognisable. He somehow manages to convey all the technical detail of aviation in a traditional and painterly style, reminiscent of the Old Masters. With uncanny ability, he is able to recreate scenes from the past with a carefully rehearsed realism that few other artists ever manage to achieve. This is partly due to his prodigious research but also his attention to detail: Not for him shiny new factory-fresh aircraft looking like museum specimens. His trade mark, flying machines that are battle-scarred, worse for wear, with dings down the fuselage, chips and dents along the leading edges of wings, oil stains trailing from engine cowlings, paintwork faded with dust and grime; his planes are real! Roberts aviation works have drawn crowds in the international arena since the early 1980s. He has exhibited throughout the US and Canada, Australia, Japan and in Europe. His one-man exhibition at the Smithsonians National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC was hailed as the most popular art exhibition ever held there. His paintings hang in many of the worlds great aviation museums, adorn boardrooms, offices and homes, and his limited edition prints are avidly collected all around the world. A family man with strong Christian values, Robert devotes most of what little spare time he has to his home life. Married to Mary for thirty five years, they have five children, all now grown up. Neither fame nor fortune has turned his head. He is the same easy-going, gentle character he was when setting out on his painting career all those years ago, but now with a confidence that comes with the knowledge that he has mastered his profession.

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