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HMS Norfolk Trench Art Spill Holder
HMS Norfolk was a County-class heavy cruiser of the Royal Navy and she served with distinction throughout WWII. She was commissioned on 30 April 1930 and served until 1939 when she returned for a refit. At the outbreak of war Norfolk was deployed with the 18th Cruiser Squadron of the Home Fleet, and was involved in the chase for the German small battleships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, along with the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer.
In the hunt for the Bismark in 1941 Norfolk was the second ship to sight the German battleship. She and her near sister ship Suffolk continued to trail her whilst the cruisers later joined the battleships Rodney and King George V as part of the force that finally sank Bismarck.
Later that year Norfolk was tasked on Arctic Convoys. in 1943 she was in action against the Scharnhorst and scored three hits on the German ship, and received several 11-in shell hits (all passing through the thin-skinned ship without exploding) in return. Scharnhorst was later caught and sunk by the battleship Duke of York and her escorting cruisers and destroyers.
Her luck held and she survived the war and 1949 was placed in Reserve and finally sold for scrapping in 1950. She proudly served for 22 years, in which time she won Battle Honours for ATLANTIC 1941, BISMARCK 1941, NORTH AFRICA 1942, ARCTIC 1943, NORTH CAPE 1943 and NORWAY 1943.
This piece of trench art is nicely worked and fashioned from a brass shell case and whilst the history has been lost it seems likely this was crafted by a crew member and the donor shell was fired from Norfolk. Our research indicates 'Norfolk' was armed with 8 × BL 8 inch Mk VIII guns in twin mounts, 8 × QF 4 inch Mk XVI guns in twin mounts & 16 × QF 2 pdr Mk VIII guns in octuple mounts. Of these the QF 2 pounder seems to align as the bore of our shell case is 40 mil diameter / 1.6".
The item carries an applied HMS Norfolk badge to the front and it sits on a turned hardwood base. The top lip has been attractively fluted and it makes a decorative souvenir from a great ship. It measures 5" tall (13 cm)