Latest Projects & News

Here you will find the latest paintings and various projects I will be working on that are not yet quite completed. I will also be adding where possible information regarding uniforms and insignia relating to those paintings, together with any background historical information.

Private Nicholas Dowling, 2nd Battalion, Irish Guards, Boesinghe, Ypres, 1917

My latest commission coincidentally again has an Irish connection, this time with The Irish Guards. Nicholas Dowling joined the Irish Guards and was in France between December 1916 and August 1917, when he was wounded and transferred to the Labour Corps with which unit he saw out the rest of the war. Although no records exist of the fact, family tradition has it that being a good shot he was a Lewis Gunner. I have therefore decided to show him thus, carrying his Lewis gun before the ruins, as they were by then, of Boesinghe Chateau, the base of the 2nd Battalion Irish Guards, in July 1917.

You can read more about Dowling here

Nicholas Dowling, just after the war

Company Sergeant-Major Martin Doyle VC,MM, Royal Munster Fusiliers and Stoker Petty Officer James Leach CGM, Royal Navy, November 1920

Stoker Petty Officer James Leach

The latest commission I am now working on is a very interesting one, dealing with the VC Honour Guard that was formed for the service of burial of the “Unknown Warrior”  at Westminster Abbey on the second anniversary of the Armistice on 11th  November 1920.

The painting is now finished and safely with its new owner!

Company Sergeant-Major Martin Doyle

The finished painting, with the backdrop of  the North Porch of Westminster Abbey, and with a close-up of the coffin of the unknown warrior being borne into the Abbey.

 James Leach’s story has now been updated and can be seen here. More details will follow in due course regarding Doyle.

Firstly some background information about the VC Honour Guard and the Unknown Warrior.

The Guard photographed before the service

The VC Honour Guard was comprised of 100 recipients of the VC or who had otherwise distinguished themselves by special valour during the war. It comprised representatives of the Army, Navy and the Air Force, not all still in uniform. The Guard was under the command of Colonel Bernard Freyburg VC. The story of the Unknown Warrior is fascinating in itself and you can read about it here

Sergent Georges Brodel, 73e Régiment d'Infanterie, Aire-sur-la-Lys, France, 1908

The plan for background using an old postcard of the Grand Place at Aire-sur-la-Lys

Here I am working on a painting of  a local man to where I now live. Georges Brodel was born in Aire-sur-la-Lys on 27th November 1886. His parents Jules and Sophie ran a café in the Grand Place in Aire at number 40.

He was recruited in the class of 1906 aged 20 at Saint Omer, matricule 2438, and was posted to the 73rd Régiment d’Infanterie. At the time he was recorded as living in Béthune. He served until 1911, having volunteered for two extra years service. He was recalled to the army with the general mobilisation of 1914, with the same rank of sergeant-major and served throughout the war, fighting at Verdun, the Somme and the battles in Flanders 1917-18. He was wounded in 1916. His unit was awarded the Croix de Guerre, and thus entitled to wear the fourragière of that decoration, and he was  mentioned in despatches and was inscribed  in the Livre d’Or of Verdun  of soldiers who fought at Verdun.  

After the war he worked as an accountant in the ceramic factory in Aire. The second World War saw him active in the Resistance in the Sylvestre Farmer group. He died 9th February 1955.