Born in Stockton on Tees in 1879, Colonel Gilbert Ormerod Spence led the men of the 5th Durham Light Infantry Battalion through some of the bloodiest battles of World War 1, including the Somme and Ypres. He was often seen with his box of watercolours, which he used to paint over a hundred scenes to form a remarkable pictorial history of battalion life.
Around 50 of these watercolours are being displayed at Preston Park Museum, near Eaglescliffe, until October 30th. This is a great opportunity to take a look at this rare collection of first-hand paintings, to see the ‘human side of war’ and learn more about our Stockton history.
You’ll see striking images of barren landscapes and blitzed towns alongside images of soldiers resting and the people that Spence encountered on his journey through Northern France and Belgium.
Admission to this exhibition is free with the entry charge to Preston Park Museum, so you can enjoy the rest of the building too. For more information, see this article.