The file opens with two b/w photographs of Hailstone, one at work painting in the bombed streets, and one of him putting finishing touches to a picture on display in the Firemen Artists exhibition, 1941. Attached to the back of the latter is press release text from the British Council, about the exhibition, held at the Royal Academy,
The first of Hailstone's works to be acquired by the WAAC was LD 879, purchased for seven guineas each in March 1941. In August the same year, IWM:ART LD 1354 was purchased from the Firemen Artists' exhibition, in August, for £20.
Hailstone was then invited to spend two months painting portraits of Civil Defence sitters, beginning on 8th December, at a fee of 100 guineas. This work involved travelling around the country. A note on one of the sitters, Frederick George Keen (LD 1910), is at (28).
In 1943, Hailstone was appointed one of two official artists to the Ministry of War Transport, although there is no documentation about this. He travelled to Hull, where he painted the docks, and was then to travel to the Mediterranean and North Africa with the mercantile marine. This commission ran until the end of April 1945, and in June that year, Hailstone was offered a three-month appointment as a War Office Artist, sent to the Far East, at a fee of £162 10s. The War Office obtained for him Edward Bawden's umbrella, which Bawden had purchased from the Ministry after his commission, and which was now purchased back for Hailstone's use; this was one of many administrative problems which arose about Hailstone's commission.
The remaining correspondence largely concerns inquiries from subjects and other interested parties about portraits; and the remaining Far East portraits, which Hailstone had still not delivered to the IWM in 1949. The file ends (in the wrong order) with a commissioning letter for two portraits, from October 1945 (IWM:ART LD 5580-5581).
There is little other mention of specific works on the file.