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|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.|
Private Alf Whitbread (deceased)
*Signature Value : £35
|Alf Whitbread, known in the war as "Lucky Jim" was born in Twickenham, London and when his father got a job in the Building Research Station in Garston the family moved to Watford. Alf Whitbread left school to become a machine engineer, but was encouraged to volunteer for the army after hearing a patriotic speech on the radio. On June 19th, 1940, Alf Whitbread went to the Edgeware recruiting office and joined the Royal West Kent Youth Battalion at the age of 18 and in 1942 in Ireland, Alf heard rumours about a newly formed airborne unit and volunteered. Alf said : "We thought we were going to be in the paratroopers, who were mad, but we finished up in the gliders and the paratroopers thought we were mad." Alf Served with 17 Platoon of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He landed as part of the Coup de Main operation on Glider No.6 into Pegasus bridge in the early hours of D-Day. Alf was part of the second group of gliders which landed first at Horsa Bridge, before taking part in the battle for Pegasus Bridge, (the subject of the film "The Longest Day".) They sent the message "ham and jam", a code confirming they had captured both bridges. The men held off many counter attacks by German troops and tanks until midday on June 6th. Alf would later say "Two of our gliders were sent to secure Horsa bridge and frankly, it was a walk over. Our platoon never lost a man. We secured the bridge and then, when another platoon relieved us, we went and joined John Howard on Pegasus Bridge." Alf Whitbread was later to take part in Operation Varsity, the last major battle of the war in Europe. On March 24th 1945 Operation Varsity was launched. The aim was to take a bridge over the Rhine again by gliderborne troops. Almost 1,500 men of the Ox and Bucks died during the operation, and Lucky Jim lived up to his reputation before his glider even landed. Alf would say: "They say dont volunteer for anything, but I did and it worked out to my benefit. I remember when we were set to get on a glider on the way for the Rhine crossing and it was too full. I was detailed to another glider. They both crash landed. All the troops in the first glider were killed. Only three of us got out of the other glider alive, after it broke in half." After the war Alf Whitbread joined London Transport as an engineer for 40 years and in all that time Alf never took a day off due to illness. With great sadness we have been told that Alf has passed away peacefully on 19th March 2011 at the age of 88. Cranston Fine Arts feel very honoured to have had Alf sign some of our art prints.|
Sergeant Titch Rayner
*Signature Value : £25
|Titch Rayner served with the British Parachute Regiment. On D-Day he was flown into France on Horsa glider No.4, which landed off target due to a navigational problem. With the element of surprise gone, he and his fellow Paras had to fight their way through to Pegasus Bridge.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Halifax||Royal Air Force heavy Bomber with a crew of six to eight. Maximum speed of 280mph (with MK.VI top speed of 312mph) service ceiling of 22,800feet maximum range of 3,000 miles. The Halifax carried four .303 browning machine guns in the tail turret, two .303 browning machines in the nose turret in the MK III there were four .303 brownings in the dorsal turret. The Handley Page Halifax, first joined the Royal Air Force in March 1941 with 35 squadron. The Halifax saw service in Europe and the Middle east with a variety of variants for use with Coastal Command, in anti Submarine warfare, special duties, glider-tugs, and troop transportation roles. A total of 6177 Halifax's were built and stayed in service with the Royal Air Force until 1952|
|Artist Details : Ivan Berryman|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by Ivan Berryman|
Latest info : At the beginning of 2010, Ivan is working on the partner painting to the fantastic large World War One aviation combat painting which was painted in 2009. The World War Two partner painting will be the same massive size of 78 inches by 36 inches. The scene will show the battle above Convoy CW8 in the English Channel on 25th July 1940. Ivan chose this scene because it features several aircraft types and some quite well-known fighter pilots. In the picture are Spitfires, Hurricanes, Bf.109s and Stukas. The Stukas were bombing the convoy and British aircraft of 64 Sqn, 54 Sqn and 111 Sqn were scrambled to defend the ships, but were outnumbered by five to one. Because of the view, Dover itself is not visible in the scene, but the action is taking place above a sunlit sea where the convoy is clearly visible under attack. Over the next few months progress photos of this fantatstic painting will be shown.
Over the last 30 years, Ivan Berryman has become a leading aviation, motor racing and naval artist. In this time, the subjects of his paintings have been wide and varied as he has deliberately strived to include some of the lesser know aircraft, ships and events in his portfolio, which includes aircraft like the Defiant, TSR2, Beaufort, ships including MTBs and corvettes, and around 100 different aircraft of the first world war. In addition to this he has taken new approaches to the classic subjects of his field, including the Dambuster Lancasters, Battle of Britain Spitfires, Bf109s and Hurricanes, HMS Hood, Bismarck and the best known naval ships, as well as some iconic sporting moments. In his own words : Art and aviation have been like a brother and sister to me. We have grown up together, learned together and made our adult lives together. But you do not have to have an appreciation of aircraft to admire the graceful lines of a Spitfire or the functional simplicity of a Focke-Wulf 190. They are themselves a work of art and they cry out to be painted - not as machines of war and destruction, but as objects of beauty, born of necessity and function, yet given a life and iconic classicism beyond their original calling. My interest and love of art and aircraft was gifted to me by my father, a designer and aeronautical engineer of considerable repute. Denis Berryman C.Eng. FRAeS. He gave me his eyes, his passion, his dedication and his unwavering professionalism. I owe him everything. And I miss him terribly. A love of art and of beautiful and interesting things takes you on a journey. You discover new interests, new fascinations, and you want to paint them. You want to paint them in their environment, in their element. Whether it is an aeroplane, a warship, a racing car or a beautiful woman, their gift to an artist is the same: Their lines, their texture and the way that light and shadows give them form. These are the food and oxygen of an artist. Not the paint and the canvas. These are mere tools. The secret is in the passion and the perception...
This Week's Half Price Art
Halifax Mk.III NA337 by Ivan Berryman. (C)
Half Price! - £105.00
Blenheim Mk.IVF of No.68 Sqn by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £450.00
Larry Lewis DFC by Graeme Lothian. (B)
Half Price! - £40.00
Dawn Raiders by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £50.00
Ships Company by Ivan Berryman (Y)
Half Price! - £40.00
Raising Havoc in the Ardennes by Nicolas Trudgian. (Y)
Half Price! - £125.00
Spitfire F Mk21†by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £40.00
Enter the Saint by Robert Tomlin. (Y)
Half Price! - £35.00
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