During the First World War HMS Terror was assigned to Dover Patrol and took part in bombarding German defences on the occupied Belgium coast, but in October 1917 was struck by three torpedoes and suffered severe damage. John Lavery had been appointed an official war artist but was unable to travel to the Front due to a car accident during a Zeppelin bombing raid. As such, much of his work documents the boats, aeroplanes and airships on the Home Front. Undoubtedly inspired by Terror’s heroics off the south coast, Lavery spent time with the crew aboard the warship in Dover, creating two oils. The other not dissimilar deck scene, also showing Terror’s 15 inch guns and the white cliffs of Dover beyond, is in the Imperial War Museum collection.
Later in 1918, Lavery was invited along with fellow artists William Wyllie and Frank Watson Wood aboard the Grand Fleet flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth, to cover the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet.
with the Fine Art Society, London.