HMS Exeter

'Her finest hour' - Update on this project Summer / Autumn 2009.

Unfortunately the project to produce a new painting of HMS Exeter has been shelved. This is sadly due to the current economic situation preventing the client from proceeding with the project. To all those who have expressed an interest in purchasing a print of the painting we sincerely apologise for the situation.


Long before the astonishing news of the finding of the wreck of HMS Exeter, I was planning to mark the 70th anniversary of the battle of the River Plate in 2009. For me, this ship, above all others, holds a very special place in my heart and if for no other reason, it seemed obligatory to find an appropriate way of marking this important anniversary. This is perhaps the last opportunity to do so whilst survivors of this great ship are still with us. It so happened that events were to dictate that this plan be brought forward. I was in contact with a photojournalist with historical interest, an Australian called Kevin Denlay. He confided in me in spring 2008 that, together with a small dedicated group of associates, the wreck of the great ship had been discovered. This electrifying information inspired me to think about not only the 70th anniversary of the River Plate, 13th December 1939/2009, but also the 70th anniversary of her sinking, the 1st March 1942 /2012. Thus, anticipating the successful conclusion of identifying, charting and photographing the wreck site, I brought forward my plans and set up this special page dedicated to the memory of this famous ship, and all those who served in her, and to those who lie entombed in her great steel coffin. I also want us never to forget all those who perished in the notorious POW camps, and finally to honour the ever dwindling band of survivors. December 13th 2009 will mark the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of the River Plate. HMS Exeter in consort with two light cruisers RNZN Achilles and HMS Ajax encountered the German battleship, the Admiral Graf Spee off the River Plate. March 1st 2012 will mark the 70th Anniversary of the sinking of HMS Exeter in the Java Sea.

To mark these two significant anniversaries, two paintings are planned.

1)"Her finest hour"
December 13th 1939
Oil on canvas—size to be decided

2)"Ever faithful"
March 1st 1942
Oil on canvas—size to be decided

It is planned to publish two limited edition prints of these two paintings, strictly limited to 70 copies of each only. Dates to coincide with these notable anniversaries.

Click for news from Robin Brooks, including news about HMS Exeter

The ships career has been divided into two sections.

1928 – 1940:
The Battle of the River Plate,
Robin Brooks' planned painting

1940 – 1942:
The Far East and sinking in the Java Sea,
HMS Wreck Found

The Fifth HMS Exeter 1978 has been painted twice by Robin Brooks from life at Swan Hunters Neptune Yard in Newcastle. The following pages relate to this ship.

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