FRED A. FARRELL - GLASGOW'S WAR ARTISTJOANNA MEACOCK ET AL Book Number: 87292 Product format: Paperback
Frederick A. Farrell was the only war artist to be commissioned by a city rather than by the government, Imperial War Museum or armed forces. Born in 1882 to a distinguished Glasgow family, Farrell had just developed a reputation as a rising star in art as an etcher and watercolourist of portraits and topographical subjects when World War I approached. Enlisted as a sapper, or military engineer, with the Royal Engineers Railway Troops Depot before being discharged due to ill health, he then returned to the front line in 1917 as a war artist, attached for three weeks to the 15th, 16th and 17th battalions of the Highland Light Infantry in Flanders. He was then embedded with the staff of the 51st (Highland) Division for two months in later 1918 in France. However, Farrell was extraordinary in not only creating art based on the troops on the Western Front but also the heroic home effort of women in Glasgow munitions factories, shipyards and engineering works. Portraits appear in works such as 'Daylight Raid by the 6th Gordons at Roclincourt' which included Lieutenant Clark and his men, '7th Gordons Clearing 'Y' Ravine' with Lieutenant R. G. Lindsay silhouetted while leading the 'C' company, 7th Gordons, and 'Machine Gun in House at Maing' depicting Lieutenant Davies and his men using a heavy machine gun from an upstairs window to help their comrades' attack at Famars Ridge in October 1918. '4th Gordons Clearing the Crest of Greenland Hill and 'Windmill Copse'' shows kilted soldiers and numerous action sketches including jackets bearing a distinctive cut at the front which was in reality to allow a sporran to be worn. The depictions of the Home Front are as powerful from the strong use of fiery colour in 'Melting Shop', the touches of light yellows and oranges amid the darkness and metal in 'Forging Big Guns at Beardmore's' to women doing tasks formerly classed as men's work such as using shaft-driven machines to prepare empty shell cases in 'Banding 6-inch Chemical Shells, Cardonald.' Farrell's work combines realism with abstracts, his piece ''Surrender Englander!' Neuville St Vaast' is a poster-like propagandist piece which relates the story of an NCO of 8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlands deterring a German Officer who approached the British trench by throwing a hand grenade which allegedly prevented a further German attack on the allies. 8½" x 8¾", colour images and photos. 80pp.
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