The additional work of art sits beside Nick Bailey’s two other fascinating works that relate to both of his grandfathers’ participation in the Great War and the Second World War.
These large Edwardian framed collages were produced from artefacts, including service records, about his grandfathers Cecil Lear Bailey of Nantwich and Frank Leighton Jones of Crewe.
The new work is a portrayal of the last dogfight between the ‘Red Baron’ Manfred Von Richtofen in a Fokker Triplane and Captain Roy Brown of Canada in a Sopwith Camel. It also details Australian ground forces who also reputedly had a part in Richtofen’s demise on April 21, 1918.
Nick Bailey said: “Ever since I was a small child I was fascinated by the world wars, in particular the aeroplanes and pilots that fought in the Great War.
“Fifty years on I was in Manchester passing a model shop and noticed a limited edition set in die cast of Captain Roy Brown’s Sopwith Camel and Baron Manfred Von Richtofen’s Fokker Triplane.
“I bought the set and then thought about how to utilise these castings for a work of art that would depict the last moments of Richtofen’s life when he was brought down on April 21, 1918 over the trenches.”
The piece took six months to develop and even utilised artistic techniques that originate in the Renaissance and earlier such as ‘Gridding Up’ to scale up hand drawn images of the two fighters in combat.
The finished piece is a mixed media collage and is framed in period Edwardian style comprising information regarding where the aerial battle took place, who were the top ‘Aces’ from the British Commonwealth and Germany during the Great War and how many ‘kills’ they recorded.
Also included is reference to the Pour Le Merite or ‘Blue Max’ medal awarded to the Red Baron during the Great War which was the highest order of merit awarded by the Kingdom of Prussia.
Further into the painting are depictions of the devastation on the ground over which these pilots fought and an image of an Australian infantryman shooting into the sky at the ailing Fokker Triplane being pursued by Captain Brown.
To this day there remains debate and intrigue in military history circles as to who actually fired the fatal shot. It will probably remain a mystery forever, but the event had a massive psychological impact on the German forces and civilians and helped to bring about the end of the conflict some six months later in November 1918.
Nick’s artworks will be on display at the Cheshire Military Museum until the end of 2014.