Print of 'Danger at Depth' by John Terry

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When a number of like-minded souls got together and decided to raise a monument on the site of the former HMS Vernon, one of those who offered to help was the graphic artist John Terry. John had worked as an Illustrator in Vernon and was well known for his detailed pictures of divers going about their business and for conjuring up scenes of minesweepers or minesweeping equipment. At one point he painted a large wall mural of such matters in the entrance hall of the training building.

As the interest and support for the project came primarily from those involved in diving and mine warfare then the monument was inevitably going to have something to represent those specialist interest areas. John took that concept and produced the painting ‘Danger At Depth’. The original, now in private ownership, provided the basis on which invitations to tender for the design were sought. A limited-edition print run of 215 signed prints was commissioned and offered for sale.

Unfortunately, John is no longer with us having died suddenly in 2012 although the sheer excellence of his work lives on in his paintings.

The prints of ‘Danger At Depth’ have sold very well and there are but a few remaining of the limited edition as signed individually by John. All of the Double Remarque prints, with additional bespoke drawings by John, sold out very quickly as have all but 1 of the Artist Proof Editions. The Artist’s Proofs are endorsed additionally by the signatures of three gentlemen of note who contributed valuable service during their time as serving members of the Royal Navy.

- Lieutenant Commander Brian Dutton DSO QGM RN joined the Royal Navy as a boy seaman and at 16 served in HMS Belfast’s 'A' gun turret during the Korean War.  He became a member of the Physical Training Branch rising to Petty Officer before being commissioned as a Sub Lieutenant.and In 1969 he decided his future lay elsewhere and became a Minewarfare and Clearance Diving Officer.

On one occasion as the Officer-in-Charge of the Portsmouth and Medway Clearance Diving Team he had reason to board the Suction Dredger ‘The Solent’ off Felixstowe on 3rd August 1974 to investigate and remove a German ground mine type GD that had become jammed in the vessel's drag head.  Severe damage to the fuse prevented identification and thus normal render safe procedures. With the dredger’s crew removed to safety and working with Leading Seaman Clearance Diver Barry Brett they eventually achieved the difficult task of wrestling the mine from the vessel's drag head.  The mine was lowered to the seabed and detonated safely the following morning. Brian was gazetted subsequently for the Queens Gallantry Medal (QGM).

In March 1982 after a succession of Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving appointments, Brian was at the end of his commissioned service in the Royal Navy and on final leave when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. Appointed Officer in Charge of one of three deployed Fleet Clearance Diving Teams, he was subsequently responsible for the disposal of 500lb bombs that had been dropped onto our ships without exploding. Invariably buried deep within smashed up compartments in the ships, each bomb presented its own challenges; one in particular onboard HMS Argonaut took the best part of 6 days to remove.  Brian was gazetted for the award of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in recognition of his service during operations in the South Atlantic.  

Brian died in April 2018 after a short illness and was well seen off during a rousing and at times amusing funeral service at Portsmouth Cathedral.  His pall bearers consisting of 7 serving members of the Fleet Diving Group, resplendent in full No’s 1 uniform. A Royal Marine Bugler immaculate in full Blues uniform sounded a poignant last post after the Naval hymn, ‘For those in peril…’ was sung with great gusto. Many of the members of Brian’s Mine Warfare and Diving Long Course were among the family, friends and former colleagues who attended including the former Commanding Officer of HMS Argonaut at the time of the Falklands Conflict.

- Lieutenant Commander Martyn Holloway Royal Navy. As a Midshipman in one of the Malta (7th MCM) Squadron’s minesweepers HMS Shavington in 1968 Martyn realised his future lay in small ships and qualified subsequently as a Minewarfare and Clearance Diving Officer. Having served in a variety of ships, on the training staff in HMS Vernon in both the Diving and Mine Warfare training sections and a 3 year stint with the US Navy on exchange in their Mine Warfare Command, in 1981 Martyn took command of HMS Maxton a mine hunter of the 1st Mine Countermeasures Squadron.   During an exercise off Falmouth his ship discovered and blew up two WWII German 1000Kg mines.

Following the invasion of the Falkland Islands in April 1982 and with the knowledge that Argentina had laid sea mines off Port Stanley, Martyn was hurriedly re-appointed in command of the Hull trawler, HMS Cordella that had been rapidly converted at Rosyth to sweep mines. As the Senior Officer of the 11th Mine Countermeasures Squadron, he led five such ships manned by the Royal Navy to the South Atlantic as part of the Falklands Task Force. The trawlers made a vital contribution in various unconventional and supporting roles and, following the surrender, cleared the live minefields near Port Stanley before making the long passage home. Having returned the crews to their loved ones and the ships back safely to their owners after a journey of nearly 20,000 miles, Martyn took command of the minehunter HMS Bildeston, the oldest commissioned ship then in Royal Naval service. His sea time complete he was appointed as the staff MCD Officer to the Flag Officer Plymouth and the Plymouth Clearance Diving Team, responsible for mine warfare matters, bomb & mine and IED disposal in the South West. Next, after attending the Staff College, Martyn headed for an exchange posting with the Canadians helping to define their future mine countermeasures requirements. On return he was placed in charge of all Royal Navy diver training and then completed his career in the Royal Navy following a further appointment in diver training for overseas students.

- Warrant Officer (Diver) Terry Settle MBE QGM BEM joined the Royal Navy in 1960 as a boy seaman at the age of 16.  As a Leading Seaman In 1968 he qualified as a Clearance Diver.   Advanced to Petty Officer and then Chief Petty Officer, Terry served in various diving teams and was coxswain of the mine hunters HM Ships Bildeston and Ledbury. While serving as the Chief Diver of the Scotland and Northern Ireland Clearance Diving Team, Terry was appointed a Member of the British Empire (MBE) having conducted numerous operations involving bomb and mine disposal, Improvised Explosive Device disposal, ordnance clearance from wartime wrecks and the search for and recovery of ditched aircraft. 

In 1984 during Operation Harling, the Red Sea mine clearance, he was in charge of an eight man team sent to deal with an unknown Soviet ground mine discovered by the mine hunter HMS Gavinton.  With the assistance of his team Terry examined the mine, now brought ashore, and rendered it safe, subsequently providing NATO with valuable intelligence.  For this operation he was awarded the Queens Gallantry Medal (QGM).

In February 1985 the world’s second-largest oil tanker was hit by an air-launched Exocet missile in the Persian Gulf.  The missile failed to detonate and lodged in the ships forward tank.  Terry led a 5 man team in the render safe and removal operation. Using breathing apparatus, he descended 95 foot down a slippery vertical ladder into the tank concerned, now drained of oil and, having located the warhead, made it safe with the assistance of his team.   The warhead was hoisted up on deck and later dumped at sea.

With his considerable experience, Terry was appointed as a Warrant Officer to various staff posts over the next several years and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) in 1991. He retired from the Navy in February 1995 after 35 years service.  

The features, in portrait format, include:

  • All prints are A3+ size

  • Reproduced on quality art paper

  • Each limited edition and Artists’ Proof print hand is signed and numbered by the artist

  • A Certificate of Authenticity is issued for each limited edition and Artists’ Proof print

  • A Fine Art Trade Guild quality seal is on each reverse

As with all items on this page, a substantial contribution is being made to the Vernon Monument Project charity for each item sold. 

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