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The Recall

Painting, oil on Canvas, 1918 depicting HMS Vindictive.  


In 1918 over 2000 dockyard workers were involved in preparing ships for a raid on Zeebrugge – a Belgian port being used by German submarines. The attack on the 23rd April was led by HMS Vindictive which was built at Chatham in 1897 and specially adapted for the mission.  The ship was prepared at Chatham, sailed from Dover and illustrates ‘front line Kent’ and the importance of the navy in delivering troops and materials from Kent ports, the closest point to the continent. The painting is hung in the Ward Room of the Chatham naval barracks, HMS Pembroke.

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust,
The Sail & Colour Loft,
The Historic Dockyard,
Kent ME4 4TE


Donald Maxwell, War Artist lived in Borstal from 1908 to 1930. Maxwell trained in London at the Clapham School of Art, the Slade School of Fine Art, and the Royal College of Art. In 1907, he married Fanny Eveline Marie Morgan (died 1954) and lived with her initially in a yacht moored on the River Thames. They moved to Rochester, Kent and then to the adjacent village of Borstal, where their elder daughter Audrey Eveline Lucilla was born in 1909. A second daughter, Veronica Edith Stanley, was born in 1914.

In 1930, Maxwell bought the large mid-18th century East Farleigh House near Maidstone in Kent, but moved to the late-18th century Goddington House in nearby Harrietsham shortly before he died in 1936, of septicaemia brought on by a chill. He was buried in East Farleigh churchyard.

Curriculum Links:

  • KS1: Local History, Significant Events, Artists, Craft Makers and Designers
  • KS2: Local History, First World War, Artists, Architects and Designers in History
  • KS3: Local History, History of Art, Craft, Design and Architecture

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