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An English wall-mounted brass 8-day ship's clock,

mid 20th Century, by "Smith's" for the Royal Navy,

Archived Stock - This item is no longer available

An English wall-mounted brass 8-day ship’s clock,

mid 20th Century, by "Smith's" for the Royal Navy,

the circular dial with roman numerals and the maker's name, in an engine-turned cylindrical case,


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Dimensions: 9.5cm (3¾") Deep, 22cm (8¾") in Diameter
Stock code: 43079

This clock must pre-date Britain's acquisition of the Danish vessel, the Anita Dan  but was probably installed on board when she was converted by Harland & Wolff and renamed HMS Endurance in 1967. It  presumeably stayed there for the duration of the ice-breaker's service in the Royal Navy.

The vessel maintained a British presence in Antarctica and the Falkland Islands during the southern summer months. She also supported the British Antarctic Survey. She had a bright red hull, as is common for polar vessels - to aid visibility- but otherwise uncommon for the Royal Navy, She was duly nicknamed The Red Plum by her crew.

Endurance was due to be withdrawn from the navy on 15 April 1982 under the 1981 defence review. Her withdrawal from Antarctic patrol without replacement was perceived in Britain as having encouraged the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands, and the subsequent Franks Report (1983) acknowledged it as a factor.

HMS Endurance (A-171) in Portsmouth harbour (1988)

The ship was instrumental in the Falkland Conflict as she was in the area when the Argentines invaded. She was central in the re-capture of South Georgia - a four day sail from Port Stanley - in getting marines ans SBS commandoes to the island and engageing Argentine submarines in the area. She remained stationed in South Georgia for the remainder of the conflict.

Toward the end of her life she acquired the nickname HMS Encumbrance due to reliability problems.

In 1989 she struck an iceberg and although she was repaired, a survey in 1991 declared that the hull was not sound enough for a return to Antarctica and she was finally decommissioned. She was replaced by the MV Polar Circle, which itself inherited the HMS Endurance name.