Mobile menu
Press release

Portraits of D-Day veterans, commissioned by HRH The Prince of Wales, go on display

Release date: Saturday, 6 June 2015

©

Twelve portraits of D-Day veterans will go on display at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace from Saturday, 6 June, on the 71st anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy.  The exhibition, The Last of the Tide (6–17 June), pays tribute to the extraordinary men that played a role in the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944 and was commissioned by HRH The Prince of Wales following his attendance at last year's commemorations in France.

The largest amphibious invasion in history, the D-Day landings involved some 7,700 ships and 12,000 aircraft and led to the liberation of German-occupied France.  On the eve of D-Day General Eisenhower sent a message to all troops in which he declared, 'The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!'.

The 12 veterans, shown wearing their medals, all served in regiments with which TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall have a formal association.  Unique and poignant, the D-Day portraits have been created by twelve different artists, among them Jonathan Yeo, and first prize winners of the BP Portrait Award, Catherine Goodman, James Lloyd, Ishbel Myerscough and Stuart Pearson Wright.

A keen artist himself, in 2010 HRH The Prince of Wales commissioned 15 portraits of surviving servicemen by alumni and faculty of The Royal Drawing School (previously known as The Prince’s Drawing School), to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

HRH The Prince of Wales said,  'I am delighted to introduce this exhibition of portraits of veterans of the D-Day landings and very much hope that all who see it will share my belief that this wonderful collection of paintings captures the spirit, resolve, warmth and humanity of these remarkable men.  It seemed to me a tragedy that there were no portraits of D-Day veterans, hence this collection of remarkable old soldiers from the regiments of which my wife and I are Colonel or Colonel-in-Chief.'

The exhibition has been put together by The Royal Drawing School in collaboration with Royal Collection Trust.  Catherine Goodman, Artistic Director at the Royal Drawing School, artist, and curator of the exhibition, said, 'This is a wonderful exhibition that brings together portraits of extraordinary people by some of the UK’s best known portrait artists.'

Veteran Brian Stewart, Captain with the 1st Battalion, Tyneside Scottish said, 'I am sure that we survivors are immensely grateful to HRH for paying tribute to those who served in the Normandy campaign in this special way.

I am immensely proud to have been chosen to represent my Regiment, the Black Watch, of which the Prince's grandmother, The Queen Mother, was Colonel-in-Chief for so many years.  I remember the bravery and tenacity with which my Anti-Tank Platoon used their six pounder guns in Normandy at the battle of Rauray, when we destroyed at least twelve German tanks during a day long battle.

The Prince of Wales and his family have been so supportive to us all over the years. It has been an honour to be involved in this project and to know that veterans from so many different regiments will have their portraits joining the Royal Collection.'

Artist Jonathan Yeo, who painted the portrait of veteran Geoffrey Pattinson, said, 'Painting someone who candidly describes the first time they set foot on foreign soil as the time they jumped out of a moving aircraft and parachuted down through flying bullets, to land in Normandy for D-Day, makes Geoffrey one of the more extraordinary sitters I've encountered in my time as a portrait artist.'

Brian Stewart (b.1922), Captain with the 1st Battalion, Tyneside Scottish (Artist: Paul Benney)
Mr Stewart was the Anti-Tank Platoon Commander with the Tyneside Scottish, landing on 15 July.  He helped to rescue comrades in the 8th Battalion of the Parachute Regiment who were cut off for several days in their bid to destroy the bridges over the River Dives.

Tom Renoulf (b.1925), Private (later Lieutenant) with 5th Battalion Black Watch (Artist: Clara Drummond)
Dr Renouf landed on the third day of the invasion, taking part in the battle for high ground around Breville.  He, like Mr Stewart, was part of the 51st Highland Division who rescued the 8th Battalion of the Parachute Regiment.

Eric Johnston (b.1923), Trooper with the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards (Artist: Catherine Goodman)
Mr Johnston was a co-driver within the Reconnaissance Troop, which landed on Gold Beach at dawn.  He took part in the battle of Villiers-Bocage and the defence of Hill103 and fought with his Regiment throughout Normandy.

Robert Antony 'Tony' Leake (b.1925), Corporal with the 8th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (Artist: Eileen Hogan)
Dr Leake took part in the mass parachute drop behind the German lines.   He blew bridges over the River Dives and set up defensive positions.  The Battalion was cut off for five days, eventually being relieved by the Highland Division.

Cecil Newton (b.1923), Trooper with the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards (Artist: Peter Kuhfeld)
On D-Day Mr Newton was a DD 'Swimming' Tank gunner, landing as part of the first wave on Gold Beach.  After destroying a German defensive position, his tank became swamped, and he was required to evacuate on to the beach.

Thomas 'David' Burke (b.1924), Sergeant with Royal Signals and later the Cheshire Yeomanry (Artist: James Lloyd)
Mr Burke landed with Canadian forces as a signals sergeant and served through France and Germany until the Nazi surrender.  He subsequently worked with the Allied Joint Signals Unit at the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal, and became part of the Cheshire Yeomanry after the war.

Raymond 'Tich' Raynor (1919-2015), Sergeant with Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Artist: Ishbel Myerscough)
Mr Raynor was in glider number four as part of the operation on Pegasus Bridge.  His glider had navigational issues and landed seven miles away from the planned landing zone.  He eventually fought his way back to his unit.

James 'Jim' Glennie (b.1925), Private with the 5th/7th Gordon Highlanders (Artist: Carl Randall)
Mr Glennie was attached to the 5th/7th Gordon Highlanders for the landings on D-Day, subsequently advancing inland and taking up defensive positions near Caen.  During a German counter-attack he was wounded and taken prisoner, spending four months as a prisoner of war.

Patrick 'Pat' Turner (b.1922), Private with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Artist: Antony Williams)
Mr Turner was part of the operation on Pegasus Bridge, landing in glider number three, within 50 metres of the bridge.  He was instrumental in the assault and the securing of the Benouville Bridge and a route over the Caen Canal.

Jack Griffiths (b.1921), Pilot with the Glider Pilot Regiment (Artist: Stuart Pearson Wright)
Mr Griffiths flew a glider containing Parachute Regiment soldiers, successfully landing on the morning of D-Day.  The soldiers went on to destroy bridges over the River Orne.

Geoffrey Pattinson (b.1924), Sergeant with 9th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (Artist: Jonathan Yeo)
Mr Pattinson was to land within the perimeter of the Merville Battery, but, due to a faulty glider, he landed in Hampshire.  By the evening of D-Day his platoon had managed to land in Normandy and he re-joined his unit.

Laurence 'Laurie' Weeden (b.1922), Pilot with the Glider Pilot Regiment (Artist: Martin Yeoman)
Mr Weeden flew a glider during the mass airborne operation on D-Day.  He safely landed in Normandy, where his cargo of jeeps, explosives and ammunition were used by the 8th Battalion The Parachute Regiment to blow up bridges over the Dives River.

 

The Last of the Tide is at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, 6 – 17 June 2015. Admission to the exhibition is free.

Visitor information for The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace:  www.royalcollection.org.uk, T. +44 (0)20 7766 7301.

The accompanying publication, The Last of the Tide: Portraits of D-Day Veterans, is published by Royal Collection Trust and Modern Art Press, price £5.00.  It is available from The Queen's Gallery shop and www.royalcollection.org.uk/shop.

For further information and photographs, please contact the Royal Collection Trust Press Office, +44 (0)20 7839 1377, [email protected]. A selection of images is available from https://www.dropbox.com/sh/57bvp5ogd0w9ndd/AABVgleLwnOT9QhGQf5Fe4xTa?oref=e&n=204017264

 

Notes to Editors

Royal Collection Trust, a department of the Royal Household, is responsible for the care of the Royal Collection and manages the public opening of the official residences of The Queen.  Income generated from admissions and from associated commercial activities contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity.  The aims of The Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational programmes.  Royal Collection Trust’s work is undertaken without public funding of any kind.

The Royal Collection is among the largest and most important art collections in the world, and one of the last great European royal collections to remain intact.  It comprises almost all aspects of the fine and decorative arts, and is spread among some 13 royal residences and former residences across the UK, most of which are regularly open to the public.  The Royal Collection is held in trust by the Sovereign for her successors and the nation, and is not owned by The Queen as a private individual.

 

The Royal Drawing School is an independent educational charity raising the standard and profile of drawing through teaching and practice.  It is one of only a few institutions offering
in-depth quality tuition to those who wish to develop their observational drawing skills.  Previously known as The Prince’s Drawing School, in 2014 it was granted the Royal title in recognition of its artistic and academic excellence.

The Royal Drawing School runs an MA-level postgraduate scholarship programme, a fine art foundation course, fully-funded international artists' residencies, a young artists programme for 10–18 year-olds, and over 250 different drawing courses for the public each year attended by over 1000 students weekly.  It currently has a teaching faculty of over 75 practising artists and is also committed to the ongoing training of future teachers of drawing. The School’s fees are heavily subsidised with a comprehensive concessions scheme that makes courses accessible to a wide array of students.

The Royal Drawing School is part of The Prince’s Charities, a group of not-for-profit organisations of which The Prince of Wales is President. The School was founded by
HRH The Prince of Wales and artist Catherine Goodman in 2000.