Green box with artists materials : Sapper L Vasco, 11 Field Company Engineers, AIF

Place Europe: France, Picardie, Somme
Accession Number REL/03408.008
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Brass, Horse hair, Paper, Wood
Maker Unknown
Date made Unknown
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Rectangular wooden hinged box covered in green paper with brass clasp that is broken lined with red material. Inside is two sets of red supports with three stays. This box has been used for storing eleven pencils, two brush and pencil holders, an eraser and a double ended brush. There is also a cardboard disc with a caricature one on side and the text 'VASCO' on the other in graphite pencil.

History / Summary

These artist materials were used by 16136 Sapper Louis Vasco who was born in Brixton, England on 27 October 1882. He was son of the artist Artur Loureiro, born in Portugal and Maria Huybers of Tasmania who were married in London in September 1881. In 1885 they immigrated to Australia due to Artur's health. Vasco grew up in Melbourne, Victoria and studied art at the National Gallery of Victoria Schools from 1902 to 1905. His exhibitions included works of pen and ink sketches and post card designs.

Later Vasco moved to Sydney, NSW and he drew postcards and caricatures for passenger on the harbour ferries at a shilling a sketch. In September 1907 his mother died, and in October Vasco sailed overseas to America. He also travelled to Europe and Papua New Guinea, and returned to Australia before the outbreak of the First World War. On his return he changed his name from Vasco Urbano Loureiro to Louis Vasco so there would not be confusion with his artist father Artur Loureiro.

Vasco married Gwendolyn Dunlop just before he enlisted at Brisbane on 11 May 1916 and recorded his previous trade as caricature artist and draftsman. He enlisted with 11 Field Company Engineers and embarked at Sydney on 11 November 1916 and arrived in Devonport, England on 30 January 1917 for further training. He arrived at France on the 16 May 1917. On the 25 May 1918 he was admitted to a field hospital with a spinal cord injury. He was then transferred to England for treatment. The injury became infected and the bacteria travelled to his brain. He died of Meningitis on the 3 August 1918 at Napsbury Hospital, Saint Albans, Herfordshire and is buried at the 'Soldiers Corner' Hatfield Road Cemetery in Saint Albans.