Keith Vaughan: Soldier Resting (Bill Greest), 1942


Pen and ink and wash on paper,
Studio stamp on reverse
13.5 x 22 cm
Framed in oak

Artist’s estate, private collection

This drawing comes from a wartime sketchbook made at Codford Camp in 1942. The late professor John Ball, a close friend and collector of Vaughan’s work, identified the subject as Bill Greest, a fellow member of No. 9 Company. At the time Vaughan executed this drawing, his journals inform us that he had found companionship, intellectual stimulus and a genuine sense of camaraderie among his fellow members of the Non-Combatant Corps. Over the course of the war he attached himself emotionally to various barrack mates, but was unable to locate the intimacy or human affection he craved. The young, married Greest became the object of his unrequited affection and fixation for three years. Vaughan cherished his memory for the rest of his life, even recalling his memory in his final journal entries, over thirty years later.