All things old China - books, anecdotes, stories, podcasts, factoids & ramblings from the author Paul French

JD Fergusson’s Anti-Piracy Hong Kong Submarines

Posted: August 1st, 2022 | No Comments »

John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961) was a Scottish artist and sculptor, regarded as one of the major artists of the Scottish Colourists school of painting. Fergusson was 40 when WW1 broke out and he was considered to be at the forefront of modern British painting, having spent years mingling with the likes of Matisse and Picasso in Paris. Although Fergusson was never an official war artist, he spent time painting at the Portsmouth docks. Severale works that came from Fergusson’s time in the Hampshire dockyard in 1918 were of Royal Navy submarines.

And here’s the China Rhyming link. Two of the submarines Fergusson painted during the war, HMS L4 and HMS L5, built specifically for the Great War were then sent to Hong Kong as part of an anti-piracy effort. They did indeed sink a few pirate ships as shown below.

Anyway, two pictures of the submarines are currently on display at the Hastings Contemporary Gallery exhibition Seafaring.

JD Fergusson, 1918
JD Fergusson, 1918
HMS L4 by William Lionel Wyllie
1927 report of L4 and L5 off the coast of Hong Kong on anti-piracy duty

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