Period: The war years

RAAF airmen at Mongewell Park Medical Rehabilitation UnitRAAF airmen at Mongewell Park Medical Rehabilitation Unit
painted in London, 1945
oil on hardboard 50.6 x 60.8 cm
signed l.r, oil “Stella Bowen”, not dated
Australian War Memorial
acquired under official war art scheme, 1945
ART26274

The men in this picture, either amputees or those who have been otherwise maimed, enjoy an afternoon of archery or golf as they await repatriation to Australia. The gentle English landscape Stella Bowen so loved provides an eerie backdrop to their activities.

As Bowen painted the ex-prisoners of war and airmen waiting to return home, she started making preparations for her own return trip. She had not been home since the beginning of the First World War and was anxious to see her family, especially her brother, who had not been well.