Canadian General Hospital, Taplow, England 1945

R.C.A. Officer Doing Handicraft Therapy, No. 1 Canadian General Hospital, Taplow, England 1945; watercolour on paper; 38×56 cm; CWM# 20120016-001

This painting sold at Tinning’s last solo exhibition in 1994. Listed as : “R.C.A.F. Officer Doing Handicraft Therapy, No. 1 Canadian General Hospital, Taplow, England 1945” it subsequently was donated to the Canadian War Museum. It is unclear if the subject is an R.C.A.F. (Royal Canadian Air Force) or an R.C.A. (Royal Canadian Artillery) Officer.

On the lower right of the painting Tinning writes: “R.C. Air F. – Officer handicraft Taplow/Cliveden Cnd. Hosp; Campbell Tinning July 1945 Cliveden Cnd. Hospital Taplow Eng”. These are apparently separate notes made in different ink. It appears that the original note – “Campbell Tinning July 1945 Cliveden, Cdn. Hospital, Taplow” – is accurate as it is corroborated by his war diary. The notation, “R.C. Air F. – Officer” and likely added later, may be inaccurate in which case the subject is a Royal Canadian Artillery Officer.
The designation of the Taplow institution as “No. 1 Canadian General Hospital” is also problematic. At the end of 1944 its last known designation was “No. 11 Canadian General Hospital.” It was never designated “No. 1”. Known commonly as the Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital it was located on the Cliveden estate of Lord Astor.

This painting, currently on tour with “Keepsakes of Conflict: Trench Art and Other Canadian War-Related Craft “, a traveling exhibition organized by the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery (curated by Heather Smith) will be in Fort St. John BC, Medicine Hat and Red Deer AB, Swift Current SK and Thunder Bay ON during 2017 and 2018.

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