Derek Gardner Limited Edition Prints
Derek George Montague Gardner (13 February 1914 – 11 February 2007) is best known as an English painter. After a career as a civil engineer before and after serving in the Royal Navy in the Second World War, he became widely recognised as one of the leading English painters of marine subjects. Gardner was born in Buckinghamshire. His father was a civil engineer who worked for the Great Central Railway in the docks at Grimsby and became chief engineer of the Port of Glasgow in 1928, and Gardner developed a love of ships. He was educated at Oundle School, where he won a prize for his drawing. He left school in 1931, and trained as a civil engineer in Glasgow with the London Midland & Scottish Railway. He later joined Sir William Arrol & Co. He joined the RNVR as a 20-year-old midshipman, and took up painting watercolours of warships. He became a docks engineer at North Shields in 1938. Gardner was called up in August 1939, shortly after the Second World War broke out, and served as anti-submarine officer on the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Broke. His ship escorted convoys in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, and was then posted to the Mediterranean to support the Operation Torch landings in North Africa.
He returned to England with his family in 1963, and retired to Dorset. He turned to painting maritime subjects. His detailed paintings found a ready market, and he held several exhibitions in London. He is best known for his paintings of warships from the Napoleonic Wars, and paintings of clippers from later in the 19th century. An exhibition of his work at Messum's gallery in Mayfair in October 2005, the bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar, included paintings of every ship in which Nelson had served. A book of the paintings, Nelson's Ships: A Trafalgar Tribute. He was a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and also a member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists.
50 Miles South and Ice to Port by Derek Gardner