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Thomas Hennell (1903-1945)

Watercolour painter, draughtsman, writer and poet. Born at Ridley, Kent, studied at Regent Street Polytechnic for several years in the early 1920s, then qualified as a teacher with Marion Richardson. Taught art for several years. Began to research his first book, Change in the Farm, in Britain, and Ireland, mainly by bicycle. Was a meticulous recorder, in words and pictures, of vanishing country crafts and ways. In 1931 became friendly with Edward Bawden, Eric Ravilious and other artists based in Great Bardfield, Essex. From 1932-1935 was treated for psychiatric illness, which he wrote about in the Witnesses. During World War 11 Hennell was an Official War Artist in Europe and the Far East, dying in mysterious circumstances in Java. The Imperial War Museum holds a large collection of his pictures, which are in many public galleries. Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, held a survey show in 1995.

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