Those Were the Days
by Philip E West
Approx. overall print size 17½” x 27½ ” / 46cms x 69cms
Many hundreds of young aspiring men and women gained their coveted RAF wings flying the Tiger Moth. Training could be tough and one needed determination as well as skill to complete it. With their newly awarded “wings”, some pilots would move onto fly bombers, some to fighters like the Spitfire and Hurricane and many others to a wide variety of different aircraft types.
All the prints are signed by Flt. Lt. Geoffrey Wellum DFC. Artist Proofs and Remarques signed by two additional distinguished pilots.
Please see below for details of the signatories of this edition.
As with all our prints, this edition was signed in the presence
of Sean Whyte, owner and publisher of SWA Fine Art Limited.
Philip E. West is recognised as one of the world’s finest aviation artists. Collectors of his original oil paintings span the globe, many waiting patiently for his next breathtaking canvas to appear. Self taught, Philip has won many accolades for his paintings, not the least of which was the prestigious Duane Whitney Award for Excellence at the 1997 American Society of Aviation Artists Exhibition.
Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum DFC joined the RAF with a Short Service Commission in August 1939. He joined no 92 Squadron flying Spitfires in June 1940 at the time of Dunkirk. He flew throughout the Battle of Britain, later completing over 50 fighter sweeps and escorts over northern France and Belgium until August 1941. He then joined 65 Squadron as Flight Commander in March 1942 operating over northern France and flew off Aircraft Carrier Furious on operation Pedestal, to Malta. (Geoff was a Flt. Lt. during “Operation Pedestal”) He returned to the UK as a test pilot Gloster Aircraft and finished the war as a Pilot Attack Instructor.
Geoffrey Wellum was credited with three destroyed, four probables and several damaged and was awarded the DFC in July 1941.
Geoff’s Best Selling book “First Light”, recalling his wartime flying career, is highly recommended by SWA Fine Art. To give you some idea of the popularity of this book, sales to date have reached 250,000 copies! The book is available to order through most book shops. Alternatively, the book can be ordered online at www.Amazon.co.uk
the Artist Proof and Remarques editions are also signed by:
Air Commodore Peter Brothers DSO, DFC & Bar learnt to fly at the age of 16 and joined the RAF two years later in 1936. He first saw action in1940 when as a Flight Commander in 32 Squadron, based at Biggin Hill, he flew his Hurricane against the fighters and bombers of the Luftwaffe. He recalls this an intensely busy period, during which he shot down an Me109 - his first enemy aircraft; by the end of August that same year his tally of enemy aircraft shot down, increased to eight. Awarded the DFC, he was transferred to 257 Squadron where he joined Bob Stanford-Tuck as Flight Commanders. Promoted in 1941 to Squadron Leader, Pete Brothers then took command of 457 Squadron (Royal Australian Air Force), equipped with Spitfires. A year later when 457 Squadron returned to Australia, Pete took command of 602 Squadron. In the early autumn of 1942 he went on to become Wing Leader of the Tangmere Wing, succeeding his old friend Douglas Bader.
By the end of the war Pete Brothers had amassed 875 operational hours over a 44-month period. He was credited with having personally shot down 16 enemy aircraft and damaged many more. He later went on to command 57 Squadron during the Malaya Campaign. Upon return to the UK Pete Brothers joined the V-Force, flying Valiant-4 jet bombers. He retired in 1973.
Group Captain Allan Richard Wright DFC*was born Devon 12 Feb 1920. He entered RAF College Cranwell as Flight Cadet April 1938. After training Allan was posted to 92 Sqdn at Tangmere on 27 October. Over Dunkirk on 23 May 1940 he destroyed a Me110 and possibly two more, on the 24th a possible He111 and on 2 June a confirmed Me109. During the Battle of Britain he destroyed a He111 on 14 August, a He111 at night over Bristol on 29 August, a He111 and Me109 on 11 Sept, a He111 on the 14th, a Me109 on the 15th, a Ju88 on the 19th, a Do17 on the 26th, a Ju88 on the 27th plus damaging a He111, a Do17, two Ju88’s, two Me109’s on the 30th.
On 30 Sept he was shot down wounded near Brighton and hospitalised. An award of the DFC was made on 22 October 1940. On 6 December 1940 he destroyed a Me109. By July 1941 Wright had destroyed 6 more Me109’s and received a bar to the DFC on 15 July. Service at HQ Fighter Command and as an instructor followed until being posted to 29 Squadron at West Malling in March 1943 where he destroyed a Ju88 on 3 April. Further command postings saw him through the war and post-war till 12 February 1967 when he retired as a Group Captain.