True Story of a Godsoldier

My father, Victor Douglas Uggles, on his retirement, began painting his war story, particularly about what happened after his vision at sixteen that he would be conscripted and the harrowing tales of his experiences in the first years of World War II.  In over 100 watercolour paintings he tells the story of France and Belgium and particularly the evacuation at Dunkirk.  He was not one of the soldiers sent back to England but spent the rest of the war within the Fifth British Division (he referred to it as ‘Y’ Division), travelling in many countries including Africa, Italy and the Middle East.  They are famously known as ‘The GlobeTrotters’.

Although never a ‘trained artist’, as a GPO signwriter, he painted the letters telling the story below each one and asked me to type out each painting’s description.  I have attempted to do so without spoiling or overcorrecting the grammar, only putting in punctuation when it wasn’t quite clear who was speaking to whom. The paintings are displayed chronologically in the gallery below. To read the captions just click on any image to open it separately. You can move backwards and forwards through the paintings by clicking on the arrows at the edge of each image or using the right and left arrows on your keyboard.

He never went on to finish his story of the war (after the depiction of his hospital “recovery”) but suffice it to say it is a delight to have the medals which he got eventually and to read the words on his Release Certificate from the Issuing Officer in March 1946. His medals, release certificate, and the book he used to refresh his memory of time and place, are shown here.