Britannia Royal Naval College
OIL PAINTING A111
ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET EARL MOUNTBATTEN OF BURMA (1900-1979)
By Sir Oswald Birley, MC
This is an original portrait by Sir Oswald Birley, MC, painted in 1947 and presented to the College that year by Major General Sir Harold Wernher, GCVO., and officers who served on Admiral Mountbatten’s staff when he was Chief of Combined Operations, 1941-1943, in memory of the part played by the College in Combined Operations, 1942-1945.
The portrait shows Mountbatten as an Acting Admiral and Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia at the age of 46, with a map of South East Asia as background. Admiral Mountbatten was a cadet at Dartmouth from January 1915 to April 1916.
124 x 101 cm p20624
Poop deck LP 2012(i)
OIL PAINTING A004
HIS MAJESTY KING GEORGE VI
A copy by John Leigh-Pemberton of the original painted in 1944 by the late Sir Oswald Birley, MC.
The copy is the property of HM the Queen, and was lent to the College on permanent loan in 1961. The Lord Chamberlain's instructions at the time of the loan were that it is not to be removed from the Britannia Royal Naval College, that any repairs or renovations to it must only be carried out under the direction of the Deputy Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures, and that it should be insured for £400.
The King was a Cadet at Dartmouth from January 1911 to December 1912.
132 ~ 107 cm
Permanent loan from HM the Queen
Captains Flat LP 1525/2(ii)
OIL PAINTING A110
ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET VISCOUNT CUNNINGHAM OF HYNDHOPE (1883-1963)
Copy by Robert Swan, after Sir Oswald Birley
The original by the late Sir Oswald Birley MC was painted in 1946 and is now at RN College, Greenwich. The background in the painting is the Grand Harbour, Malta. The copy was commissioned by BRNC and received in May 1964. Admiral Cunningham was a Cadet in the BRITANNIA from January 1897 to April 1898.
In 1961, Admiral Cunningham was asked by the Captain of the College what portraits were made of him and whether he knew of any which might be available. In his reply he wrote: "I had 4 portraits painted. A dreadful thing by a man Carr. I don't know who was brave enough to have it. One by an RNVR man. An excellent portrait of any Admiral of the Fleet in beautiful uniform but not me and the Imperial War Museum refused to have it. One good one by Oswald Birley which is at Greenwich College, and one copy of it in the Imperial War Museum."
Our picture is a copy of the "good one by Oswald Birley". Three quarter length. Standing with telescope in Admiral’s uniform. Onboard ship with Malta in the background
123 x 98 cm College property
Senior Gunroom Mess LP 2022/13(ii)