Royal Naval Air Service - A British Bulldog, 1918
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Overall: 37.5cm (14.7in) x 44cm (17.3in)
Watercolour heightened in white on paper. A study of a ‘Peter’ a British bulldog owned by naval fighter ace Lieutenant Aubrey Ellwood of No.3 Squadron, R.N.A.S., and drawn by Lesley Ellwood. Framed with a squadron photograph verso featuring Peter and his master at Bray-Dunes, near Dunkirk, France, in February 1918.
Lieutenant (later Air Marshal Sir) Aubrey Beauclerk Ellwood, K.C.B., D.S.C., (1897-1992) was educated at Marlborough College joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1916. Posted to 3 Naval Squadron (Sopwith Camels) on the Western Front in 1917, he was confirmed with his first kill on 27 July. On 30 January 1918 he shared in the destruction of two Albatros DVs over Gheluvelt with Lt. Leonard ‘Tich’ Rochford. In March 1918 he shot down a further six enemy aircraft, and closed his account with the destruction of an Albatros C over Givenchy on 9 April. Credited with ‘ace’ status twice over, he was gazetted the Distinguished Flying Cross in the same month - ‘For the determination and skill displayed by him as a pilot. On the 10th March, 1918, he attacked three Albatross scouts. He drove two of the enemy aircraft down, and then dived on the third and fired a long burst. The enemy machine pulled up, fell over on its side, and fell straight down out of control until lost to sight. He has also destroyed or brought down out of control many other enemy machines’. Having been awarded one of the first permanent commissions in the Royal Air Force in 1919, he was appointed to the command of No. 5 Squadron in India in 1932. Ellwood served in the Second World War as Deputy Director of Bomber Operations before becoming Air Officer Commanding No. 18 Group in January 1943 and Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters Coastal Command in March 1944. After the war Ellwood was appointed Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Bomber Command.