Market Harborough’s Royal Navy warship, HMS Fernie, resurfaces

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A painting of HMS Fernie, a WWII Type I Hunt-class Destroyer, has been re-discovered.

Built by John Brown & Co. of Clydebank for the Royal Navy and completed in June 1940, HMS Fernie was adopted by the community of Market Harborough as part of the Warship Week campaign in 1942. Warship Weeks were national savings campaigns aimed at getting Royal Navy warships adopted by civil communities. In August 1942 HMS Fernie was part of the escort force supporting the landings in the abortive Dieppe Raid and was subject to heavy air attack during the raid. In 1944 she provided support for the Allied landings in Normandy. She has been the only ship in the Royal Navy to carry this name.

The artist Fred Jay Girling (1900-1982) was a naval architect. He was born in Leicestershire and lived in Wellingborough and Kettering. Following the death of his father at Gallipoli during the First World War, the family moved to Belfast where Fred trained in naval architecture with Harland & Wolff. In 1929 he moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to work as a naval architect for the government. He was later posted in Leith as Chief Ship Surveyor for the East Coast of Scotland. He retired in 1965 and was awarded an OBE. In his later years he returned to live in Northamptonshire, in Mears Ashby.

This watercolour painting is being offered for sale by Dr Roy Hargrave at Hargrave Fine Art. Further details are available at hargravefineart.co.uk