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When the First World War broke out, artist Morris Meredith Williams was living in Edinburgh with his wife Alice, a sculptor, teaching drawing and illustrating books. He arrived in France as a junior infantry officer with the Welsh Regiment in 1916, went on to make maps from aerial photographs for the Heavy Artillery and then worked on camouflage with the Royal Engineers. Never without a sketchbook and pencils, Morris drew at every opportunity and wrote almost daily to Alice, recording his surroundings, his companions and his frustration with army life. After the peace he toured the shattered countryside, in an old ambulance car, making paintings for the official record. Reunited in 1919, Morris and Alice spent much of the next decade working on memorials, including the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle. This illustrated talk, based on a new book by Morris’s great niece Phyllida Shaw, gives a fascinating insight into life behind the lines and a creative partnership disrupted by war.
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