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Somme Contact Patrol

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Somme Contact Patrol detail images
Somme Contact Patrol - WW1 oil painting by Graham Turner GAvA Somme Contact Patrol - original oil painting Ref: GT-GW4

British troops signal their position to a BE2c flying overhead as they struggle to advance across no-mans land on July 1st 1916, the first day of the battle of the Somme.

Oil on Canvas, canvas size 16" x 20" (40cm x 50cm). Painting is framed - overall size including frame is approximately 18"x 22" (46cm x 56cm)

click on image to enlarge

CLICK HERE for close up detail images.

'Somme Contact Patrol' is also available as a Giclee print, in two alternative sizes on paper, and on canvas - CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Price: 2,950.00

Sheltering from the murderous artillery and machine gun fire in the meagre cover provided by a shell hole, these soldiers are from the 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, veterans of Gallipoli, and part of the VIII corps attack in the area near the village of Beaumont Hamel. In this region alone, 14,000 men were lost on this one day for no gain at all, the 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers recording 483 casualties without capturing a single section of enemy trench.

The infantry were issued with red flares, to be lit when their contact patrol aircraft signalled by firing a white Very light (later replaced by an audible klaxon signal). The aircraft would then in theory be able to plot the limit of the advance and report back to headquarters. However, smoke from the flares was felt by some soldiers to also risk revealing their position to the enemy, hence the practice of lighting them in the bottom of a trench or shell hole.
Somme Contact Patrol - WW1 oil painting by Graham Turner GAvA
Somme Contact Patrol - WW1 oil painting by Graham Turner GAvA(above) Troops of the 29th division (of which the Lancashire Fusiliers were part) also carried a tin triangle on their backpack at the Somme to aid identification from the air.

(left) RFC aircraft involved in infantry co-operation carried some form of temporary identification linking them to a particular unit on the ground; one or two dark flags on either or both wing trailing edges was typical.

Images are cropped details from 'Somme Contact Patrol'. CLICK HERE to see these detail images at a larger size.
Purchasing an Original Painting

Graham Turner's original paintings are offered for sale by the artist himself, rather than through Studio 88, which is our print publishing business. Consequently, payment directly to him is preferred. If you are interested in purchasing an original painting, please email Graham Turner at to discuss the purchase or to arrange to visit.

The cost of shipping original paintings varies, depending on their size, value and destination. Our usual shipping rates do not apply, but we would be happy to provide a quote for shipping to your address if you are unable to collect.

Copyright is retained by the artist.

(Right) Graham Turner creating his oil painting 'Contact'.
Purchasing an Original Painting
First World War Aviation prints

A selection of Graham Turner's First World War paintings are available from Studio 88 as high quality giclée prints - on paper or canvas. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Studio 88 Ltd., PO Box 568, Aylesbury, Bucks. HP17 8ZX - email: - phone: 01296 338504

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