Reading through the book Honeysuckle's War by Ian Claxton there is a photo on page 263 of what may be the only known example of unofficial funnel art on an RN corvette and the hint of another unrecorded example on the funnel's of either Aconite or Roselys (Sundew). Funnel art was not unknown on the RCN corvettes where the maple leaf design was common, but this is the first time I have seen funnel artwork recorded for an RN corvette. If you know of any other examples which can be proven, particularly with an image, then I would be interested to hear from you in this thread. Note that I am only interested in unofficial painted artwork as opposed to the official escort group numbers and insignia which can sometimes be seen on RN corvettes.
The text taken from interviews with Honeysuckle crew in Ian Claxton's book is very interesting with regard to the funnel art and I have transcribed it in full below:
Around this time (September - October 1944 while in Belfast for refit) Honeysuckle's funnel was adorned with an emblem of a determined polar bear stood on an ice flow. The two architects of this enhancement were Len Mobbs and Eric 'Robbie' Robinson, the ship's painter.
Len Mobbs: "I believe we were in Belfast and we got permission, must have done, I can't remember how, but normal procedure would have been to ask the Buffer (P.O) who would then have sought permission from the Skipper. I enlisted Robbie's help to do the job. I got the idea for the design from a packet of Fox's glacier mints".
Lt. Frank Chester: "Our Skipper Jim Wright was quite tickled with the idea, and gave his permission without hesitation. I am fairly sure that we acquired the polar bear in Iceland and the inspiration came from the shoulder patch that all British Army personnel based in Iceland wore. It was reported that the original insignia of a while polar bear on a black background with his head pointing towards the ground - it's a natural stance - was withdrawn by a rather warlike General and replaced with an animal in a more aggressive attitude".
Eric Robinson: "Lenny designed the bear and got an old chart from the chart locker and drew the polar bear out on it at full size. We then cut it out in the form of a template and rigged up a scaffold on the side of the white painted funnel and taped the template on. We painted a black rectangle around the template and then removed it revealing a white polar bear. Lenny was the designer and I, as ship's painter, was his oppo. We repeated the process on the other side of the funnel and then stood back to admire it. There was another corvette alongside Honeysuckle and they admired the artwork too. Lenny was commissioned by their skipper to paint an emblem on their funnel".
Len Mobbs: "We painted an emblem of 'The Saint' on their funnel. I got the idea remembering a novel by Les Charteris. I think it was K57 (Roselys - formerly Sundew) or K58 (Aconite) that had the Saint".