Lieutenant Colonel George Ramsay

Accession Number ART28403.084
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 23.5 x 7 cm (irregular)
Object type Work on paper
Physical description pencil on tracing paper
Maker Collins, James
Place made Burma, Malaya, Thailand
Date made 1943-1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright


Portrait of NX34999 Colonel George Ernest Ramsay, Commanding 2/30 Btn; defence of Malaya and, 'A' Force Railway. The artist, Jim Collins, was a member of A Force, one of the work parties forced to construct the Burma-Thailand Railway. By the beginning of 1943 many prisoners had died and it was clear to their senior officer, Brigadier Arthur Varley, that the number of deaths would only increase. Collins was instructed by Varley to draw "portraits of fellow POWs, some of whom would not survive the war." The drawings - almost 100 of them - were done in secret using rudimentary materials provided by Varley. It was intended that the collection be kept together as a reminder of the men who had died and the suffering endured by the survivors. The artist wrote: 'The big majority of the subjects were AIF personnel; the balance being of other Allied POWs in the same area'.