Senior Sister PMRAF Nursing Service [HMO 55]
Framed (ref: 6736)
Labelled on verso ‘RAF South Cerney 1944’ in Roger Folley’s handwriting. Pencil and watercolour on paper. 18 x 15½ in. (45.7 x 39.5 cm)
Provenance: Roger Folley; Alasdair Dunbar; Hammer Mill Oast Collection
Exhibited: Evelyn Dunbar - The Lost Works, Pallant House Gallery, October 2015 - February 2016, cat 100.WW2 - War Pictures by British Artists, Morley College London, 28 October-23 November 2016, cat 85. Literature: Evelyn Dunbar - The Lost Works, eds Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2015, cat 101, page 148; WW2 - War Pictures by British Artists, eds Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2016, cat 85, page 128; Evelyn Dunbar: A Life in Painting, Christopher Campbell-Howes, October 2016, page 321. We do not know the identity of this Senior Sister in Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service, and it may be that while Dunbar was at RAF South Cerney, Gloucestershire, recording the activities of women’s uniformed services that she was directed not to name her subjects. All that we know is that her subject is wearing a white ward dress underneath an RAF blue tippet adorned at the points with the Rod of Aesculapius, the classical healing wand emblem of medical services, and shoulder boards showing her rank and status. One of the artist’s rare watercolours for the War Artists’ Advisory Committee, it was never submitted.
We are grateful to Christopher Campbell-Howes for assistance.