Artist captures last invasion on canvas

A FELIXSTOWE artist has captured the town's unique place in English history on canvas.Gareth Lee has painted a picture of the moment when Dutch invaders attacked Landguard Fort on July 2, 1667 - the last time England was invaded by a foreign force.

A FELIXSTOWE artist has captured the town's unique place in English history on canvas.

Gareth Lee has painted a picture of the moment when Dutch invaders attacked Landguard Fort on July 2, 1667 - the last time England was invaded by a foreign force.

As well as soon being sold as a greeting card, the exciting image is also to be available as a limited edition print.

Mr Lee, of Gainsborough Road, Felixstowe, began working on the picture, titled The Dutch Attack on Landguard Fort, Felixstowe 1667, painted in acrylic paint on board, in January.

He said: "It's something I had wanted to do for years but it was only around the start of this year that I eventually found time to get on with it – it's a total coincidence that it is SeaBritain year.

"I had the idea of using it as a greeting card and I am hoping it can be sold in Felixstowe shops, and also in the town's Tourist Information Centre and also the one in Ipswich.

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"Shipping companies might use it, especially those with Dutch connections, or possibly companies in Holland might like it."

The picture – on show in the window of Sheldrake Recruitment in Hamilton Road – is based on research Mr Lee has carried out.

The artist, who paints commissioned works, portraits and illustrations, said: "The fort is accurate and looks exactly how it would have done at the time, and the uniforms are accurate. Of course, as it's a battle scene I had a little bit of artistic licence.

"I wanted to get the figures in the picture right and they are always the most difficult to portray convincingly, but I am pleased with the outcome."

The Dutch invasion involved 47 war ships, which anchored off Felixstowe – just out of reach of the cannon at Landguard Fort.

Historians say about 2,000 soldiers landed on the beaches at the foot of the cliffs, arriving ashore in small boats, to face the 500-strong garrison at the fort.

The Dutch, led by Admiral de Ruyter and an English-born maverick Col Doleman, attacked through screens of gunsmoke with their cutlasses drawn and armed with muskets and scaling ladders.

Garrison leader and fort governor Capt Nathaniel Darell led his men into the attack, killing many of the Dutch force as they tried to storm the fort.

n For further information about the painting contact Gareth Lee on 07811 425 045.

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