A. Henry Fullwood
Date of birth: 15 March 1863
Place of birth: Erdington, Birmingham, England
Date of death: 1 October 1930
Place of death:Waverley, NSW, Australia
Albert Henry Fullwood’s major contribution as an official war artist was to record aspects of the First World War which others may not have noticed or have taken for granted. His works have a narrative element that captures the mood and atmosphere of a scene.
Fullwood studied at the Birmingham School of Art and was already an experienced etcher when he arrived in Sydney in December 1883 and obtained work as a lithographic draughtsman and designer. He contributed illustrations to the Australian Town and Country Journal, and to the Bulletin where he signed his cartoons ‘Remus’, and he was appointed a staff artist on the Picturesque Atlas of Australasia.
During the 1880s he worked with fellow artists Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts at their camp at Sirius Cove, Sydney. From 1884 he exhibited his paintings with the Art Society of New South Wales, and subsequently with the NSW Society of Artists in the mid-1890s. In 1896 he married Clyda Blanche Newman, daughter of photographer John Hubert Newman.
Driven out of Australia by economic depression, Fullwood and his family left Sydney for the United States in 1899. They stopped in South Africa for some days during which time Fullwood sketched and painted the slave markets and some barracks in Cape Town and the Table Top Mountains. From the United States they moved to London where Fullwood designed postcards and worked as a freelance illustrator, receiving commissions from newspapers and journals, including the London newspaper The Graphic.
From April 1915 until November 1917 Fullwood served with the Royal Army Medical Corps as an orderly at the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth in the company of fellow artists George Coates, Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton. Here, he contributed an aerial view of the hospital and an illustration for General Birdwood’s Christmas message to the Anzacs in 1915 to the hospital’s Gazette.
Fullwood was subsequently appointed an official war artist, attached to the 5th Division AIF, working in France between May and August 1918, and in France and Belgium from December 1918 to January 1919. He was given the rank of honorary lieutenant, and he spent four months in all on the battlefields.
Returning to Australia in 1920 after his commission had been terminated, he became a foundation member of the Australian Painter-Etchers’ Society and the Australian Watercolour Institute. During the 1920s he concentrated on etching and visited New Zealand in 1925 and again in 1928. He died from pneumonia in Waverley in October 1930.