Search For Artist Who Created Mysterious Falklands War Painting

Search For Artist Behind War Painting

Search for unknown artist. Credit: MOD Crown/Gov.UK

THE Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has embarked on a quest to identify the creator of a powerful painting that brings to life the stark realities of the Falklands War.

The quest began after the discovery of this forgotten artwork in an unused classroom at HMS Raleigh by a DIO staff member.

A Forgotten Treasure

The painting was unearthed in Building 110, or the Fieldhouse block, named in honour of Admiral Fieldhouse who spearheaded the recapture of the Falkland Islands.

DIO, tasked with the upkeep of the Defence estate and ensuring the readiness of Ministry of Defence buildings for armed forces personnel, found the painting during a routine check.

Jon Rickman-Dawson, DIO Facilities Manager at HMS Raleigh, recalls the moment of discovery. ‘As part of my role looking after the built estate, I went into a disused building while demolition work was happening nearby to check the building was still in good condition.

‘I walked into what was a classroom and noticed a very unusual piece of artwork on the wall. I took photos of it, and started to ask questions to people who have worked on the site for a long time as to what they knew about it, and what it depicts,’ he said.

‘My hope is that someone will see the picture and it will make them remember something. It would be great to credit someone with putting something into this site that has been adopted as part of it. Other sites have so much history, with great gold-framed oil canvases. We haven’t got that, but what we have got is this.’

Historical And Emotional Resonance

The artwork, spanning 20ft by 6ft, now adorns the Trainees’ Bar at HMS Raleigh, viewable by trainees and their families during Passing Out ceremonies.

Before its relocation, the Establishment Services team, known as the ‘Buffers’, refurbished the painting. They cleaned, re-stained, and treated the frame, integrating the piece into the bar’s setting.

Mark Eve, a former Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy who served during the Falklands War, shared his emotional connection to the painting. ‘I’ll be honest, the first time I saw the painting, it got me very emotional.

‘There are things in the painting that I can see, but nobody else can, but then when other veterans have looked at it, they see what I see. That’s the marvellous effect it has on you. It’s a little bit abstract in some respects, but it encapsulates everything about the Falklands conflict.

‘Not only does this painting make me emotional, it also makes me immensely proud of what I did during that time. It was my duty, but I am still proud of what we all achieved,’ he reflected.

Base commander at HMS Raleigh, Sean Brady, shared his perspective on the artwork’s significance. ‘What we want is to find who the artist is, where they are now and what they were trying to show with this painting.

‘I personally thought the artist was trying to show the reality of what happens in conflict, and this picture shows it very well,’ he stated.

Believed to have been painted between 1982 and 2010, the painting likely originated from someone present during the Bluff Cove air attacks, as suggested by its detailed and emotive depiction.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Jo

      05 January 2024 • 07:18

      Who cares they should give it back along with Gibraltar. The whole population are inbred.

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