Tropical Duties

Richard Taylor





Tropical Duties by Richard Taylor

On Wednesday 22 June 1938 a new sound was heard over the humid streets of Singapore as four Bristol Pegasus radial engines heralded the arrival of the RAF’s newest flying-boat - the Short Sunderland. For the men of 230 Squadron gathering on the slipway at Seletar, the approaching aircraft looked formidable and even from a distance, they could spot the powerful array of .303 machine guns it possessed.
The squadron had been flying Short Singapores ever since they arrived here two years earlier but now, with war looming and recognising the strategic importance of Singapore, the Squadron had been chosen as one of the first units to be re-equipped with the world’s most advanced flying boat - the Sunderland.

With a range approaching 3,000 miles it was ideal for the long-range maritime reconnaissance patrols it would need to cover the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean, especially following Japan’s entry into the war and the fall of Singapore. Sunderlands would play a vital role in protecting the convoys to India and supplying isolated bases across the Indian Ocean. As the war progressed, Sunderland flying-boats were increasingly used to attack enemy shipping between Burma and Malaya in the Bay of Bengal, and over a 32 day period in the summer of 1944 two Sunderlands from 230 Squadron evacuated 537 critically wounded soldiers from the Chindit special forces by landing on a lake deep behind enemy lines in Burma.



The Limited Edition, Artist Prrofs and Remarque Editions

Along with artist Richard Taylor every print in each edition is personally signed by three distinguished Veteran Short Sunderland pilots who flew with 230 Squadron in the Far East

The Signatories

Flight Lieutenant William Hallisey RAFVR

Working as a Customs and Excise Officer at the outbreak of war he was finally allowed to enlist in January 1941, in the RAF Volunteer Reserve. After training he was selected to become a Flying Instructor and spent three years in Canada, sometimes flying anti-submarine patrols from Halifax, Nova Scotia in Lockheed Hudsons. Receiving an operational posting to 202 Squadron in April 1944 and based in Gibraltar as a Captain on Catalina PBYs, he took part in Operation Cork to protect the extreme western flank of the D-Day landings from U-boats. In April 1945 he was posted to the Far East where he flew Sunderlands with 230 Squadron against retreating Japanese coastal vessels, where he also gave informal night-flying training. Following the Japanese surrender he then helped to ferry recently liberated Allied POWs out of Singapore and back to India.

Flight Lieutenant Graham Stevens RAF

Called up in 1941, he completed his Pilot training with the US Navy in Pensacola, Florida and was selected to fly Catalina flying boats in the maritime reconnaissance role. Initially posted to 270 Squadron in West Africa as a 2nd Pilot, he and his crew were tasked with patrolling over the South Atlantic gathering information on enemy maritime activity. As the war in Europe drew to a close, he completed a Captain’s conversion course and re-trained to fly the Short Sunderland. As Victory of the Japanese approached he joined 230 Squadron in Madras to begin what was the most satisfying period of his service, piloting repatriation flights flights for Allied POWs from Singapore to begin the first leg of their journey home.

Flight Lieutenant William ‘Eddie’ Bardgett RAF

Volunteering for duty with the RAF, after training he was posted to 230 Squadron in Madras where he was “2nd Dickie” to Graham
Stevens as Captain of Sunderland aircraft “P-Peter”. He was briefly re-assigned to another crew when his Captain went down with malaria, serving with Flight Lieutenant Edwards as part of a two aircraft detachment dispatched to the island of Labuan which, after the Japanese surrender, was also home to P-51 Mustangs of the RAAF. Upon his former Captain’s recovery, he was reunited with him at RAF Seletar in Singapore where they took part in many repatriation flights together ferrying recently released POWs and wounded troops back to India
for their trip home.

Tropical Duties Remarque Edition by Richard Taylor
Tropical Duties Remarque Edition by Richard Taylor. Remarqued editions are signed by all the veterans and include a superb original pencil Remarque hand drawn below the image. The first, an edition of 25, will have a single drawing. The second edition, restricted to only ten copies, will have a magnificent double size drawing overflowing with detail.
Example of double remarque at left.


Matching numbered certificate of authenticity included.

Overall Print Size 34" x 22 1/2 " (inches) Printed in lightfast inks on acid free - archival paper.


To complement the purchase of your fine art print, we are now able to offer a professional Picture Framing service. For further details please click Here



Signed and Numbered Edition
UK £110.00
Edition Size - 350

Artist Proof Edition
UK £150.00
Edition Size - 25

Remarque Edition
UK £300.00
Edition Size - 25

Double Remarque Edition
UK £450.00
Edition Size - 10


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Helpful information regarding our Limited Edition Prints

Limited edition print:

An edition of identical prints, numbered sequentially and individually signed by the artist, having a stated limit to the quantity in the edition. Following publication the printing plates are destroyed. Almost all the aviation art and aircraft prints featured on this website are authenticated with the original signatures of distinguished military personnel.

Artists Proof:

An old tradition of reserving a quantity of prints for the artist's use, usually equal to about 10 % of the edition. In the early days of printing, these prints were the only remuneration the poor artist received. Proofs are signed by the artist and numbered showing the quantity of Artist's Proofs issued in the edition. Because of their highly restricted number, Artist's Proofs are sold at a higher value than the regular prints in the edition.

Publishers Proof:

A quantity of prints, not always announced or issued at the time of publication, usually equal to no more than 10% of the edition. These are reserved for the publisher's use, mostly for donation to Museums, Service establishments, Service Associations, and the like. Quantities of Publishers Proofs, sometimes issued with a supplementary print, may be made available to collectors either at the time of publication, or at a later date, depending upon availability.

Remarqued print:

A print issued with an original pencil drawing by the artist in the margin, each numbered out of the quantity of individually remarqued prints in the edition. The quantity of remarqued prints in any one edition generally is between 25 and 50. Each remarque drawing made by the artist is slightly different, thus making each print totally unique. Remarqued prints may be available at the time of publication, or announced at a later date, depending upon the artist's work load at the time .Please be aware that Remarque prints can take up to six weeks for delivery. An artist remarqued print is the ultimate collector item in terms of reproduced work.

Companion print:

An additional print, usually issued with smaller dimensions, published to compliment a limited edition, and usually issued at the same time.

Matted (or mounted) print:

A print fitted into an acid-free or conservation matt (or mount), ready for framing.

Original drawing:

An original work individually drawn by the artist, completed in pencil, ink, or other medium, and personally signed by the artist. Being an original work each drawing is unique and different.

Certificate of Authenticity:

A certificate issued by the publisher stating the total quantity of prints issued in the edition, confirming authenticity of the signatures, and in the case of a limited edition, inscribed with the matching unique number inscribed on the individual print. Collectors are advised to keep certificates safely as a future means of provenance. All our aviation art and aircraft prints are issued with a certificate of authenticity.



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