badge, headdress, British, 28th (County of London) Battalion (Artists' Rifles)
In white metal, the classical helmeted heads of Mars and Minerva in profile, looking left, resting on a title scroll marked 'ARTISTS RIFLES'. Slider on the reverse.
Cap badge belonging to J N Nash (762541).
John Nash was the younger brother of the artist Paul Nash. Though always a keen artist he was unsure what career path to follow as a young man and started work as a trainee journalist. Then his brother started at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Paul brought home two friends from the School which greatly influenced his life, Claughton Pellew, who persuaded him he was an artist, and Dora Carrington, who introduced him to Christine Kühlenthal, whom he went on to marry in 1918. Due to health problems he was unable to enlist during the First World War until 1916, when he joined the Artists' Rifles. He fought in the Western Front for two years before returning to England and joining his brother as an official war artist. They worked side by side in a rented shed. During the 1920s Nash taught at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford. He taught for the rest of his life. He also did work on book illustrations, particularly using his botanical knowledge. In 1940 Nash was commissioned in the Royal Marines as an official war artist to the Admiralty. He continued to paint to the end of his life. He died less than a year after his wife, Christine. They had been married for 59 years.