A painting anf a photograph

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A painting anf a photograph

Gerry Chester
Gerry Chester

June 8th, 2006, 10:46 pm #1

On 23rd May 1944, my regiment the North Irish Horse, supported the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada in the breaking of the Hitler Line. The following day, when several of us went back to see if anything was salvageable from our disabled tanks, we came across a Canadian officer perched nearby my knocked-out tank "Ballyrashane" busily painting away. Although I was aware that battlefield artists and cartoonists were active in the Italian Theatre, to see one "in the flesh" was quite a surprise.

From time to time I wondered who he was until coming across an article in "Canadian Military History" about him. His name is Charles Comfort and here is what he was painting.


This is a photograph from NIH archives of one of our chaps by the turret of the destroyed Panzerturm.


It may also be of interest to Forum members to know that the NIH and the other units of 25th Tank Brigade were awarded the Maple Leaf of Canada - still worn to this day on uniforms is a silver replica.

Cheers, Gerry


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GrantR, Medicine Hat, AB
GrantR, Medicine Hat, AB

June 8th, 2006, 11:53 pm #2

... I am unable to see either image, which would normally indicate a problem with the link to the image file. Perhaps others can confirm whether they can see the pictures ....
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Gordon Pringle
Gordon Pringle

June 9th, 2006, 2:05 am #3

NT
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Clive M. Law - Service Publiications
Clive M. Law - Service Publiications

June 9th, 2006, 2:06 am #4

On 23rd May 1944, my regiment the North Irish Horse, supported the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada in the breaking of the Hitler Line. The following day, when several of us went back to see if anything was salvageable from our disabled tanks, we came across a Canadian officer perched nearby my knocked-out tank "Ballyrashane" busily painting away. Although I was aware that battlefield artists and cartoonists were active in the Italian Theatre, to see one "in the flesh" was quite a surprise.

From time to time I wondered who he was until coming across an article in "Canadian Military History" about him. His name is Charles Comfort and here is what he was painting.


This is a photograph from NIH archives of one of our chaps by the turret of the destroyed Panzerturm.


It may also be of interest to Forum members to know that the NIH and the other units of 25th Tank Brigade were awarded the Maple Leaf of Canada - still worn to this day on uniforms is a silver replica.

Cheers, Gerry

Gerry,
Thank you for posting the images, for the story and for your war-time service.

Clive
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David Gordon
David Gordon

June 9th, 2006, 4:33 pm #5

... I am unable to see either image, which would normally indicate a problem with the link to the image file. Perhaps others can confirm whether they can see the pictures ....
I can see them OK. Just lifted them from the site and eMailed them to you so hopefully they come though alright.
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Mike P
Mike P

June 10th, 2006, 4:23 pm #6

If you are interested in reading his wartime biography it is called " Artist at war" published by remembrance books. ISBN: 0-920270-21-2. It's a good read and has over a dozen color plates including some of his lesser known peices and portraits. I've had the priveledge of seeing some of his works in person and in my humble opinion he was the best and most professional artist we had in the field during the 2nd world war.

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Gerry Chester
Gerry Chester

June 11th, 2006, 7:32 pm #7

On 23rd May 1944, my regiment the North Irish Horse, supported the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada in the breaking of the Hitler Line. The following day, when several of us went back to see if anything was salvageable from our disabled tanks, we came across a Canadian officer perched nearby my knocked-out tank "Ballyrashane" busily painting away. Although I was aware that battlefield artists and cartoonists were active in the Italian Theatre, to see one "in the flesh" was quite a surprise.

From time to time I wondered who he was until coming across an article in "Canadian Military History" about him. His name is Charles Comfort and here is what he was painting.


This is a photograph from NIH archives of one of our chaps by the turret of the destroyed Panzerturm.


It may also be of interest to Forum members to know that the NIH and the other units of 25th Tank Brigade were awarded the Maple Leaf of Canada - still worn to this day on uniforms is a silver replica.

Cheers, Gerry

I was recently sent the finished work of what Comfort was painting.
See:

Cheers, Gerry
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Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson

June 11th, 2006, 7:34 pm #8

Gerry,
Thank you for posting the images, for the story and for your war-time service.

Clive
My thanks as well. The Italy campaign was, in my opinion, one of the toughest. I am honoured to know a man in our parish who was an officer with the Perths.

And I love Comfort's work! My son had to do a project on Ortona - and I scanned a couple of his paintings for it.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 12th, 2006, 4:30 am #9

I was recently sent the finished work of what Comfort was painting.
See:

Cheers, Gerry
I've often wondered what the circular object in the front right foreground is supposed to represent - if it is the turret ring of the destroyed Panzerturm, it is horribly out of perspective.

The Royal Canadian Legion #1 Branch here in Calgary duplicated this famous painting as a wall mural - very striking. I believe that Daniel Dancocks' book D-DAY DODGERS: THE CANADIANS IN ITALY 1943-45 uses the image on the dustjacket as well.
Michael Dorosh
Webmaster
canadiansoldiers.com
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Joined: March 15th, 2006, 3:45 pm

June 12th, 2006, 2:58 pm #10

Mike,

The perspective of the German tank turret ring is correct.
If you look closely and you will see he painted it twisted, as it would have popped and snapped when the top position was blown away, you can see the gun in the midground just behind
the turret.

Great painting! reminds me of Comic book art.
Very heroic. I used this same style when illustrating a drawing for a military book by Gavin Watt.

My Uncle who fought in Italy
was also an artist, he worked at McGill university for years afterwards and loved painting and copying other famous Canadian war paintings. We would share art books and stories about his time in the army.

Good memories from my uncle,
Private Telex Goguen, NB Rangers 1941-1946
....I miss him.

Roger
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