Ship's Cats Print Oskar, aka Unsinkable Sam

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Artist: Celia Pike.

Size 297 x210mm on Fotospeed Matt Ultra 240gsm paper.

Mounted on  300 x 215mm backing board.

Packed in EN13432 compostable PLA. Bag.

Made in UK.

When the German battleship Bismarck was sunk in 1941, eyewitnesses reported that along with 115 survivors, a black cat which had been clinging to some wreckage was spotted and picked up. Taken onboard HMS Cossack, some of the German survivors recognised their ship’s mascot, Oskar. He was renamed ‘Oscar’ and welcomed as the new mascot of HMS Cossack. When, in 1941, HMS Cossack was also torpedoed and the feisty cat again survived, he gained the nickname ‘Unsinkable Sam’. This time he was transferred to HMS Ark Royal, and here the story starts to sound like a sea legend. HMS Ark Royal was itself torpedoed in 1942 and yet again Unsinkable Sam survived. Legend or fact, the story had a happy ending for Oskar who allegedly went on to live the rest of his days in an Old Sailors’ Home in Belfast.