Tuesday, July 28, 2020


Acrylic on stretched Italian Cotton. 80 X 60cm
A 75th commemmoration of loss, of birth, and a present day message of hope for all of us amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.

21 year old Sylvia was attached to WAAF as a radar tuner/operator in the final stages of the war in the UK, and on one occasion she located and guided home a Spitfire pilot, who, returning from a mission, was damaged in combat and had no vision due to oil spilling onto his windscreen. Following Sylvia's directions via radio, he managed to land safely and took the opportunity to visit Sylvia in the ops room to personally thank her for saving his life. Sylvia's husband Michael was a South African born RAF pilot who, as a teenager, joined the RAF in the late '30's, and was one of the few non-commissioned pilots (SM 1st class) towards the end of the war. Attached to 144 squadron of Coastal Command, he flew Bristol Beaufighters during operations off the coast of Norway, with his best friend Jack Roddis, who was his navigator. On the 11th of January 1945, a day after Sylvia and Michael's 3rd wedding anniversary, his plane was lost in action over the sea, he was only 23. 6 days prior to this, he had received a letter from Sylvia informing him that she was pregnant with me! Sylvia emigrated to South Africa with me in 1946 on the Stirling Castle, later remarried and rebuilt her life with a new family. She passed away at the age of 73. Sylvia and Michael, Beaufighters, and yes, in the words of Vera Lynn, we will meet again.