They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. Yet a cover can make a significant difference. Which was the case with my forth book The Battle of Matapan 1941which was published in 2011. The cover was based on the painting of maritime artist Dennis Andrews. Known as Warspite Recovers her Swordfish. When the battleship HMS Warspite picked up her reconnaissance plane at speed, a manoeuvre never tired out before as the British fleet steamed flat out to catch the Italian warships. Dennis to make sure of the accuracy of the painting even talked to the pilot of the Swordfish the late Petty Officer Ben Rice. Inside the book one of the plates was a second of Andrews painting of a night action when Warspite opened fire on Italian warships illuminated by searchlights.
I got to know Dennis Andrews while I worked as a contributor for the magazine Warships International Fleet Review from 1999 – 2012 for which even now I occasionally write a piece. Dennis then was the assistant editor.
It was with sadness I learnt that Dennis had passed away. I knew he had suffered in his later years from Parkinson’s disease which had robbed him of his great love painting maritime subjects.
Dennis passed away in January 2023 after a fall.