Enjoying the Sunshine
Acrylic on Linen
80 x 80cm
My grandfather, Charles Leslie Webster (Les), served in the First Australian Imperial Force as a Light Horseman in World War I in the Middle East. My father, Lorne Leslie Webster served in the Second Imperial Force in World War II as did two of his brothers Charles James Webster and Roy John Webster. My painting ‘Enjoying the sunshine’, is based on an old photo from Les’ photo album which depicts him (left) and a friend relaxing in the sunshine. I do not know where the photo was taken (possibly in Cairo) but I like the fact that even in war, soldiers could enjoy simple pleasures and camaraderie. Les was wounded in battle and did suffer throughout his life as a result of his injuries. On return to Australia after the war he married and raised five sons. I often wonder what he thought when three of them were sent to fight in WW II. I’m sure he and my grandmother, Cecelia, would have been deeply concerned and certainly relieved when all three safely returned home.
In the painting, I wanted to capture a joyful moment where the young soldiers were at ease with their mates. Through mateship, our soldiers were able to endure.