A BE2 of the Royal Flying Corps No 2 Squadron, which saw service both as a reconnaissance aircraft and as a bomber during the First World War. It was in just such an aircraft that 2nd Lt Rhodes-Moorhouse became the first airman to earn the Victoria Cross, being fatally wounded by small-arms fire during a hazardous mission to bomb the railway line at Courtrai on 26 April 1916. When he returned to his home airfield, his aircraft was found to have been hit no less than 95 times.
I had the idea for this painting when, on a visit to the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, I saw a fly-past by a Tornado of No 2 Squadron RAF to mark the dedication of their Squadron Memorial. I noticed some special art work on the Tornado's tail - it depicted the BE2 in commemoration of the Squadron's centenary year, so what better subject for a painting!
November 11th, 2012
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