Fine art composition

By Marc Heaton

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'G M McKINLAY, SPITFIRE CRASH AT NEWHAVEN 12/07/1944' page

As discussed in the earlier post. The painted composition aims to portray an accurate account of the moments leading up to the young pilot's crash. Due to a lack of visual documentation relative to the incident, l have placed the Spitfire chasing down the V1 heading in from the coast, just near the breakwater. This helps to place the incident directly within Newhaven.

I have painted the composition monochrome because l feel using colour would possibly glorify the event/incident, which was never my intention. I wanted to document the young pilot's bravery and present it as a sort of article within a newspaper, factual and without dramatisation. I hope the painting does the young pilot justice and acts as a reminder of the sacrifice that generation gave during those hard fought years.

This page was added by Marc Heaton on 28/11/2017.
Comments about this page

Superb! I agree entirely with the way you've portrayed this event, monochrome suits the image very well. Thanks for adding this to Our Newhaven.

By Andy Gilbert
On 28/11/2017

Not sure if you require opinions but can I assume that you've never seen the breakwater? I apologize if you are offended but the picture seems a bit simplified and flat. 

By Ron Herriott
On 28/11/2017

Hi Rob. You're right l've never seen the breakwater, l live in Wigan near Manchester. The breakwater within the composition acts to locate the incident, however it's not the main focus relative to to the subject. That is the preserve of the pilot alone, his action on that particular day is where my interest originates and ends. Everything else within the composition acts to compound an awareness of his sacrifice. That may shed light on the apparent flatness of the background and foreground compositional arrangement.


Marc Heaton

By Marc Heaton
On 29/11/2017

Was this the aircraft that came down along The Drove, I remember my mum telling us about it when we were kids. we lived up the mount in Arundel Road, I would have been about 2 years old at the time. I also remember her telling us about the ammo barge blowing up, and it blew our front door of and embedded  it in the opposite wall and covering my bed in broken glass. The only other thing I can remember was my mum holding me by the garden gate waving as the Canadians were leaving in lorries and throwing bars of chocolate to us as we were waving.

By David Riggs
On 08/06/2024

@ David Riggs. Yes, that's correct. A road near the location is now named after the pilot. McKinlay Way.

By Andy Gilbert
On 09/06/2024

Andy, Dave mentioned the barge explosion but there is very little info on it. Is it possible to create an article about it, as I understand it was quite the event causing damage to buildings as far as Lewes and, if not for the cliffs, it would likely have flattened a good portion of Newhaven. Thanks. Rob. 

We are in the process up updating the website Rob (busy trying to raise funds to help with the £3600 cost ! nearly halfway there.)

So when its up running we can do a page on the barge for you.

John - Editor

By Rob Patten
On 19/06/2024

Regarding the item about the explosion at Newhaven on Tuesday,22 November, 1944, I have an original newspaper cutting describing the event - I can send a scanned image if it will be of interest.

Yes please, we can then include it within a page covering the event, which will be published, shortly after the new website is up and running later this month.

Many thanks

John -- Editor

By Pam Morrill
On 24/06/2024

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