Completed Maritime Subjects, Military History 10 Do you know who painted 'Wrens at Work in the Valve Testing Room, HMS "Vernon"'?

Topic: Artist

We would like further information on this work.

Completed, Outcome

Alice Payne,

The title has now been changed to: "Sketch for 'Valve Testing: The Signal School, Royal Navy Barracks, Portsmouth'", the execution date added as c.1919 and the attribution has now been changed to Arthur David McCormick (1860–1943). This change will appear on the Your Paintings website by the end of June 2014. Thank you to all for participating in this discussion. To those viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all comments that led to this conclusion.


The subject reminds me of wartime work by William Dring, though the medium is not stated and he better known as a pastellist: has that been looked at?

Martin Hopkinson,

Has this painting been shown to the Imperial War Museum and the records of the War Artists Advisory Committee been consulted? - As this looks like a WAAC picture

Alice Payne,

Very interesting. Please can I check – did someone intentionally report the first comment in this discussion?

This identification seems to provide a very satisfactory conclusion to the current discussion and I suggest that, with the acceptance of the Maritime Subjects forum, it's recommended for acceptance to the PCF and the Royal Naval collection.

Jade King,

Thank you.

Could the collection please confirm on this forum that they are happy for a change to be made to the online record?

We would agree that the image appears to be a sketch for the painting at the Imperial War Museum. We will update our records with the new attribution and are happy for it to be altered on the PCF catalogue also.

That was well-spotted, albeit in fairly plain sight. I have to confess slight surprise since McCormick is generally better known for his Nelsonic and similar post-facto maritime-historical confections. Since the final version is dated 1919, a c. 1919 dating also needs to appear with the sketch and given that the IWM has another WWI McCormick of Wrens at Portsmouth of a different size (also 1919) and both are simply noted on the IWM site as 'commissioned' it would help to be specific that IWM was the commissioner (I assume, since founded in 1917).