Group Captain Maurice Newnham O.B.E. D.F.C.
Framed (ref: 7680)
Pastel on paper
23 ½ x 19 ½ inches (60 x 49.5 cm)
Exhibited: WW2 - War Pictures by British Artists, Morley College London, 28 October -23 November 2016, cat 45.
Literature: WW2 - War Pictures by British Artists, Edited by Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2016, cat 45, page 84.
In its original frame.
Maurice Newnham has had an eventful and distinguished career. During the First World War he was a fighter pilot and was awarded the D.F.C., a Mention in Despatches, and the French Croix de Guerre aux Palme.
His peace-time occupations included the managing directorship of the Triumph Motor Company of Coventry. He was a prominent and successful competitor in motoring events, and was responsible for the design and production of the famous Triumph – Dolomite range of motors.
At the outbreak of the Second World War he rejoined the R.A.F. In the autumn of 1940 he was sent to Ringway near Manchester to explore the possibilities of parachute and glider-borne armies. He was then forty-four, and had never made a parachute jump in his life.
Accidents were many, but Newnham evolved a parachute flying and landing technique which reduced injuries. In five years more than 60,000 men of nearly all armies and nations passed through his hands for training.
The men of Normandy and Arnhem, men and women of the resistance groups, intelligence agents and saboteurs drew their confindence and parachuting skill from Newnham and his staff.
William Dring (1904-1990)
Dennis William Dring was born in Streatham, London and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art between 1922 and 1925, where he won several prizes and scholarships. He taught drawing and painting at the Southampton School of Art until 1942.
At the start of the Second World War Dring completed several portrait commissions for the War Artists' Advisory Committee, WAAC. In early 1942 he resigned from Southampton School of Art to work on a full-time contract for the Committee, specialising in Admiralty portraits. He travelled extensively within Britain at this time, painting subjects in Portsmouth, Scotland and the Western Approaches.
In the late summer of 1943 he was given a second full-time contract which included more general subjects. His final war-time contract with WAAC saw Dring working on portraits for the Air Ministry throughout 1944 and 1945.
Sixty-four of Drings war-time portraits, mostly pastels are in the collection of the Imperial War Museum, who also hold five oil paintings by him.
There are a further forty of his wartime works at the National Maritime Museum, mostly pastel portraits.
Drings' post-war career included notable portraits of Sir Frank Stenton, Austin Hopkinson and of Cecil Hurst, family groups and landscapes plus portraits of members of the Royal Family. He recorded the presentation of the freedom of the City of London to the future Queen Elizabeth in 1947 and produced a series of five portraits for Lincoln's Inn that included pictures of both Lord Hailsham and Margaret Thatcher.
Dring was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Watercolour Society and at the Royal Academy, RA. He became an associate member of the RA in 1944 and a full academician in 1955.
See all works by William Dring