Flooded Walcheren

After studying art in London, Hennell taught at schools in the West Country. He applied to become a war artist in 1939 and in 1943, he volunteered to replace Eric Ravilious who had disappeared in Iceland. In 1944 when the British forces advanced out of Normandy, Hennell was one of three artists to go with them. He sent back watercolours of a variety of subjects recording the Allied advance towards the strategically important port of Antwerp, which was taken on 4 September.

On 3 October the Royal Air Force Bomber Command tore a 120-yard breach in the sea dyke at Westkapelle on the heavily fortified island of Walcheren. On 1 November Royal Marine Commandos stormed WestKapelle and by 10 November, after fierce fighting, often waist deep in mud, German resistance ended. The Scheldt and the port of Antwerp were re-opened to shipping on 28 November. This typically rapid watercolour was almost certainly made on the spot. It is signed.

Object Details

ID: PAI0537
Collection: Fine art
Type: Drawing
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Hennell, Thomas
Places: Unlinked place
Date made: 1944
People: Hennell, Thomas
Credit: © Crown copyright. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 478 x 627 mm; Mount: 608 mm x 833 mm

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