Product images of Captain Robert Edward Dudley Ryder VC (1908-86)
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Captain Robert Edward Dudley Ryder VC (1908-86)
Bronze head only, the hair parted on the right, facing forwards and mounted on a grey rectangular granite base. This bust was commissioned by the War Artists Advisory Committee and exhibited at the Royal Academy as 'Commander Robert Ryder' in 1943. It was transferred on permanent loan from the Imperial War Museum in November 1947. 'Red' Ryder was son of soldier and explorer, went to Cheltenham college and entered the Navy in 1927. After early sailing adventures he was an outstanding captain of the schooner 'Penola', often in great difficulties, on the British Graham Land Expedition of 1934-37. Just before the the Second World War he served in the battleship 'Warspite', flagship in the Mediterranean, then volunteered to serve in 'Q-ships' and survived four days clinging to wreckage when his first command, a Cardiff ex-trawler, was torpedoed and sunk in the North Sea in June 1940. He was sunk again (by collision) before helping plan, and commanding, the St Nazaire raid of 1942 in HMS 'Campbeltown', for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross (with four others). He also helped plan the less successful Dieppe raid and was fully involved in other operations needing his seafaring skills, including D-Day, until the end of the war. He left the Navy in 1950 and, strongly anti-socialist, was briefly a Conservative MP before becoming involved in a number of business ventures. Though humdrum, these eventually earned him enough to retire to enjoy country and family life, and sailing. He died on his boat while sailing in the Channel Isles. Wheeler, the sculptor, (1892-1974) developed a reputation as a 'traditional modernist' in the inter-war years and was elected RA in 1940. Both during and after the war he did a number of naval portraits and memorials, including Jellicoe's bust for Trafalgar Square. He was President of the Royal Academy for ten years from 1956.
Sir Charles Wheeler (1892-1974)
- Image reference: D4737_2
- National Maritime Museum