May 1942 – June 1945. Oblong Octavo album (ca. 14x22,5 cm). 13 paper leaves (12 blank). With eight original watercolours (including one double-page) and eleven pencil drawings on the sketchbook leaves; all with period pencil captions on the lower margins; most also dated 1942 or 1943. With a loosely inserted watercolour ca. 12,5x18 cm (5x7 in) with a later ink caption on verso. Period “Griffin series” sketchbook with brown cloth boards. Spine with a tear on the upper half, repaired with white paper, sketchbook loose on hinges, but overall in good condition, with bright watercolours.
Interesting collection of original watercolours and pencil drawings documenting the WW2 service of J.E. Street, officer of 1st Battalion Queen’s Westminsters, King’s Royal Rifle Corps. The 1st (11th) Queen’s Westminsters took part in the Western Desert (June 1940 – February 1943) and Tunisian (Nov. 1942 – May 1943) Campaigns in North Africa and saw action in Italy and Greece in 1944-45. J.E. Street started his service as a Lieutenant in 1941 and was listed as a Second Lieutenant in 1943 and 1944, with the temporary rank of Captain since 1942. The sketchbook follows his transportation to Egypt around Cape of Good Hope (May-June 1942), station in the Quassassin troop camp near the Suez Canal (August 1942), service in Libya (February 1943), Lebanon (March 1944), and Greece (May-June 1945). Some of the attractive watercolours show Freetown harbour, the coast of St. Helena, Quassassin camp, Baalbec and the Lebanon Mountains, Syros Island, and Zagora village (Greece). Interesting pencil drawings (although some are just basic sketches) show British troopships “Scythia,” “Highland Brigade” and “Mooltan,” British destroyers leaving Tobruk harbour (Libya), British officers having a tea party with Sheikhs, Syros Island, etc. The loose watercolour is a later view of the Gruinard Bay, Scotland. Overall an attractive artistic outlook of the British military involvement in North Africa and the Middle East during WW2.
Watercolours: “Thunderstorm in Freetown harbour, May 42;” “Crossing the Equator, May 28th – 42;” “Convoy passing St. Helena, 1.6.42, 10:30 p.m.;” “Siesta at Quassassin [camp]. Aug. 42;” “Anti-Lebanon, Mt. Hermon from above Baalbec, Mar. 44;” “Baalbec & the main Lebanon range, 23 Mar. 44;” “Syra. Dellagrazia, June 45;” “Zagora, Mt. Pelion, June 45;” “Gruinard Bay, [Scotland]” (a loosely inserted watercolour).
Pencil drawings: “Boat deck of H.M.T. Scythia;” “[Troopship] Highland Brigade;” “[Troopship] Mooltan;” “Pyramids at sunset, Aug. 42” (a basic sketch); “Suez Canal, Ismailia, Sep. 42” (a basic sketch); “Destroyers leaving Tobruk Hbr. Feb. 43” (a basic sketch); “Tea party with Sheikhs…, Feb. 43” (a basic sketch); “Jerusalem from Mt. of Olives, 18 Mar. 44” (a basic sketch); “Greek caique at Salonika, May 45;” “Syra harbour, June 45;” “San Nicolas church, Syra, June 45.”.
Price: $950.00 USD