These fascinating works relate to both of his grandfathers’ participation in the First and Second World Wars.
Nick, who was born in Crewe but now lives in Congleton, produced these large Edwardian framed collages from artefacts, including service records, about his grandfathers Cecil Lear Bailey of Nantwich and Frank Leighton Jones of Crewe.
As ‘mixed media’ works they have original acrylic backgrounds and details painted by Nick overlaid with typical war scenes and personal information about each grandfather.
Both works were exhibited in 2009 and 2010 at the Keele University Open Art exhibitions.
Cecil served in the Cheshire Regiment and the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry in the First World War, suffering wounds to his legs when blown up by a German shell in northern France. He was returned to the Western Front after treatment and survived until 1989.
His party trick was to show visitors the shrapnel emerging from his knees as his body shrunk with age. He did not take part in the Second World War.
Frank served in the Royal Navy in the Great War on many different ships but finally saw active fighting service as an ordinary seaman on HMS Thunderer in 1918.
He re-enlisted into the Cheshire Regiment in 1939 and went to Dunkirk. After an injury in the early 1940s he returned to Crewe to be part of the Home Guard where he lived until his passing in the 1970s.
Nick Bailey said: “My memories of these brave men are very strong as they both took an active part in my early childhood during the 1960s and I wanted to create these works as family heirlooms, to remember my grandfathers and the roles they played in the Great War and World War Two.”
The Cheshire Military Museum is now guiding Nick to find out more about his grandfathers and where they went in each of the wars, especially for the Cheshire Regiment.
They have a search service for any member of the public to use for a small fee.
The artworks themselves have been displayed on their own wall over a Vickers machine gun which is being restored.
This is particularly apt as it is the type of firearm that Cecil would have used in the trenches of Northern France in 1917/8.
Nick’s artworks will be on display at the Cheshire Military Museum until the end of 2014.