Capt. Douglas John Bell "The Last Patrol" 1918
Acrylic on Canvas,
Capt. Douglas John Bell "The Last Patrol" 1918
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Acrylic on Canvas
W: 610mm x H: 460mm x D: 20mm
W: 24" x H: 18" x D: 1"
This work is
Capt. Douglas John Bell
About "Capt. Douglas John Bell "The Last Patrol" 1918"
A recently completed World War 1 commemorative artwork commissioned by Ian Waters, the grandnephew of Sopwith Camel ace Captain Douglas John Bell, MC and Bar.
Born in Bloemfontein, South Africa on 16 September 1892, "Ginger" Bell served in the Imperial Light Horse Regiment during the 1914 Rebellion and the South West Africa Campaign. He subsequently travelled to Europe in order to join the Royal Flying Corps where he distinguished himself as bomber and fighter pilot, scoring a total of 20 "kills". Posted to 3 Squadron RFC as Flight Commander of C Flight in March 1918, he downed 17 of the Squadron's 34 victories in less than three months.
He was killed in action (KIA) southeast of Thiepval, France, in the vicinity of Mouquet Farm (also known as "Mow Cow Farm" by Allied Forces) during a wireless interception patrol at 12h40 on 27 May 1918.
The painting depicts Captain D.J. Bell flying through broken clouds in his Sopwith Camel C6730, searching for the German artillery spotter plane on the day he was KIA.
According to French weather reports and 3 Squadron War Diary inscriptions, it was a day marked by poor visibility after several days of "dud" (rainy) weather which had prevented combat flying. Other details portrayed in the artwork include information gained from campaign maps as obtained through Ian Waters, namely entrenchments, the ruins of "Mow Cow" farm and the remains of a destroyed tank.
Additional features shown are artist interpretations: grave markers around a water-logged shell hole, the wrecked remnants of a downed aircraft and Captain Bell flying with his goggles up revealing his face "since they were fogging up flying through mist and low clouds" and the colour of his scarf.
Final details were determined by Ian Waters as the client: no records of Captain Bell's personal flight markings on his Camel could be obtained from records and upon consultation with leading European researchers it was decided that the letter "S" should be displayed on the side of his aircraft as Flight Commander of C Flight, 3 Squadron, as the most likely possibility.
Mr Ian Waters is continuing his research on Douglas John Bell and any information regarding photographs of Capt. Bell, his medals, personal documentation and letters, would be greatly appreciated.
He can be contacted directly.
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View all 62 works by Juanita Benade
Juanita is a visual artist specializing in Fine Art and Corporate Commissions for engineering, aviation and military related industries, as well as private clients.
She was one of the founding members of the "South African Guild of Aviation, Military and Maritime Artists", a Special Interest Group affiliated with the South African Air Force Museum, Zwartkop Air Force Base.
Currently she is in the research phase of an extensive project on the subject of "Horses in War and Peace".
Commissioning highlights from her career include among others:
* A World War 1 Commemorative Commission by the UK-based family of Capt. D.J. Bell MC & Bar, on his last patrol over Thiepval, France.
* Airborne Engineering Commissions by 44 Parachute Engineer Regiment and the South African Army Engineer Formation.
* Several Formal Portraiture Commissions by the South African Army Foundation.
* A Commemorative Commission by the South African Air Force Museum, Zwartkop. The work depicts the Museum's C47 Dakota as part of the Dakota's 75th Anniversary Maiden Flight commemorations.
* Various other genre works as private and corporate commissions for local as well as international clients.
Research and Illustrated Published Articles include among others:
* The Alouette III. "From Dragonflies to Birds of Prey: Helicopters in the South African Air Force"; 2017.
* Capt. Douglas John Bell MC & Bar. "The Sparrow and the Sopwith Camel"; 2016.
(Frontispiece of the Winter 2018 issue of the Royal Air Force Museum's magazine "Radar".)
* Sopwith Camel. "SAAF Museum, Swartkop - Zwartkop Scale Modellers' Sopwith Camel Scale Model Restoration Project"; 2016.
* Scale Modelling. "Recreating Life in Miniature"; 2016.
* South African Spitfire Restoration. "The Fire Within"; 2015.
Other artworks depict experiences and memories acquired during overland trips through Namibia and rural South Africa and subsequently also Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Merging visual, performing arts and music, she follows an integrative approach when presenting art workshops for groups and individuals through her atelier "Colour and Chord Art Studio".
Hugo Naude Art School, Worcester.
Drawing, Painting and Ceramic Design & Manufacture.
History of Art.
1993 - 1996
Saint Luke Art School, Onrust River.
Jewelry Design and Manufacture.
University of South Africa (UNISA)
History of Art 1 and Graphic Art 1.
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