Artist biography

Thomas HENNELL 1903–1945

Writer and illustrator, draughtsman and watercolourist, mainly of rural subjects. Born 16 April 1903 in Ridley, Kent. Studied at Regent Street Polytechnic 1921–6 and was influenced by A. S. Hartrick. Taught art in schools at Bath and Bruton 1928–32. Suffered a nervous breakdown 1932–5. A.R.W.S. 1938; R.W.S. and N.E.A.C. 1943. Lived at Ridley from 1936. Worked for the Pilgrim Trust 1940 and for the Ministry of Information 1941. Was appointed Official War Artist and sent out to Iceland 1943 to replace Ravilious. Took part in the Normandy landings 1944 and followed the army to Holland. Sent in May 1945 to record aspects of the war in India and Burma. Was captured by Indonesian terrorists in Batavia, November 1945, and reported missing, later presumed killed. Memorial exhibitions at Leicester 1955–6 and in the Imperial War Museum 1956. Author of Change in the Farm 1936, Poems 1936, The Witnesses 1938, British Craftsmen 1943, The Countryman at Work 1947.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I