Two albums of photographs relating to the service of Captain Francis 'Frank' Henry Black of the 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, in the First World War.
Frank Black, son of the artist Francis Black RBA, joined the Artists Rifles as a private in 1907, and was subsequently commissioned. On the outbreak of war he was offered a commission in the Warwickshire Regiment. Black's war service lasted from November 1914 to 25 April 1915, when he was killed in action at the Battle of St. Julien, one of the six major engagements of the Second Battle of Ypres.
The two albums also feature family photos and civilian scenes at various locations in the UK and Europe during the pre-First World War and interwar periods.
Group portraits and scenes of officers and men from 'A' Company, Artists Rifles, at various summer camps - Worthing 1907, Salisbury Plain 1908 and 1909, Caterham 1909, Whitstable 1910, Frith Hill 1912, Dover 1911.
Various informal portraits and 'domestic' scenes of officers and other ranks in trenches and dugouts during the winter of 1914-1915, at St. Yvon near Ploegsteert ('Plugstreet') in Belgium; officers including Captain Black photographed inside and outside a French house in which they were billeted; officers sharing a Fortnum and Mason hamper; Captain Bruce Bairnsfather, creator of the 'Old Bill' cartoons, and another officer striking a comedic pose by a water-filled shell hole; scenes taken on Christmas Day 1914, including a poor quality image of a pair of German officers from a Saxon regiment during the celebrated Christmas Truce; two portraits of Maxwell Rabone, Captain Black's cousin, serving with the Artists Rifles, and who later died of his wounds at Gallipoli; an officer of the battalion astride his horse as troops take a break on a march; a portrait of Private Freeman, Black's batman.
A portrait of the composer Eric Coates with the conductor Dan Godfrey.
The Battle of Verdun (21 February-15 December 1916) became the longest battle in modern history. It was originally planned by the German Chief of General Staff, Erich von Falkenhayn to secure victory for Germany on the Western Front.
The trench warfare of the Western Front encouraged the development of new weaponry to break the stalemate. Poison gas was one such development. The first significant gas attack occurred at Ypres in April 1915, when the Germans released clouds of poisonous chlorine.
'Over The Top'. 1st Artists' Rifles at Marcoing, 30th December 1917, by John Nash.
Brothers Paul and John Nash were both commissioned as official war artists during the First World War - Paul from 1917 and John from 1918. Prior to becoming official war artists, both of the brothers had seen active service on the Western Front.