THE HEATH AT WAR! (1914 - 1918)
Percy Smith (1882-1948) was resident in Hampstead between the 1930s and 1940s.
He served in the First World War and produced sketches of the plains of France and Belgium laid waste by war and his work depicts the horrors of war.
His war service was between 1916-1919 with the Royal Marine Artillery.
He produced memorable sketches of war-ravaged countryside, death and destruction.
"The Lorry Driver's Bath" ~ Smith reported in his diary that another lorry driver had frozen to death during the night whilst sleeping.
"The Long and Winding Way" ~ shows trench digging parties. They were often over-laden with kit, walking along duck boards. The ground was often frozen or saturated with mud.
The Howitzer Gun was developed by the Coventry IOrdnance Works. The gun had a range of 10,795 yards and fired a 1400lb shell.
In "Death Awed", the figure of Death stands on a duckboard in a flooded Somme battlefield. It contemplates two boots in the mud which have broken bones and flesh protruding from them.
"Site of Thiepval Church" was where Percy Smith was billeted around Novembedr 1916.
In "The Corner Cottage of Beaumont Hamel", we see the stark contradiction of "homely" with the rubble that now surrounds it.