Kennington was recommended by numerous people, including Dodgson, Lavery and Derrick, particularly because of his painting 'The Kensingtons at Laventie'. He was one of the first artists to be employed by the Government; consequently, the file includes papers discussing these general early arrangements for artists. His terms and conditions are at (22).
Kennington was very enthusiastic about the work, and his initial period in France was extended at his request. He found himself away from the front line and primarily making portraits for which there was an unceasing demand - his letters often refer to the the great interest and welcome he receives from the soldiers. However he was unhappy that the names of the subjects were removed by the Censor - "it is the individuals that interest me (76), and he also wished to be closer to the Front. (44) is a good summary of events to date. Kennington was also unhappy that he did not have any army status; unfavourable comparisons between his own terms and those of Bone and Orpen were a recurring complaint.
The file includes numerous lists of drawings, and some letters include sketches to help identify drawings sent back, since the names of the subjects had been removed. In letter (69-70a) Kennington discusses the exploits of the subject of IWM:AT1039, 'A Famous Raider', and also refers to 'Chat Hunting' (IWM:ART 1019). Other correspondence discusses the gift of his portrait of Major Trail to the subject's widow. Elsewhere, he recommends other artists to the Committee, including Alfred Munnings (97), Harry Bateman (98-9) and Eric Gill (217).
During the latter part of his time in France, and after his return to England, Kennington's relations with the Ministry of Information, and subsequently with the War Museum, deteriorated. There remained the possibility of another large picture, but this came to nothing. On his return he began to prepare for an exhibition of his war drawings at the Leicester Galleries, and a possible publication in addition to the planned volume of British Artists at the Front. As a compromise, Yockney agreed to make the latter volume more extensive. Masterman, who in any case was not keen on Kennington's work, then wanted to postpone the volume, to the dismay of Dodgson, who had been working on the volume, and Kennington. Other correspondence discusses C E Montague's introduction to the volume.
Many papers discuss the Leicester Galleries exhibition, June-July 1918. Kennington was frustrated at the censorship the exhibition was subjected. He included a large oil, ''Lying Wounded' and 'Gassed'', of which there is a photograph at (124). There is extensive correspondence relating to the acquisition of drawings from the exhibition by the Imperial War Museum - a number were purchased, and others donated under the terms of Kennington's original agreement. The exhibition subsequently travelled to the Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield.
Kennington was then keen to return to the Front, but refused to be involved in the latest Ministry of Information scheme, so could not have the Ministry's help in arranging a trip.
Muirhead Bone wrote (265) to Yockney urging him to keep Kennington involved with Government work by sending him to Italy to make a superpicture. Arrangements and terms were discussed, but before their completion, Kennington was offered a visit to France for the Canadian War Records, which he accepted.
Other papers concern requests for reproductions, and the arrival of the new acquisitions at the IWM after their return from Sheffield.