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Video: from Stroud to Korea and back – Jack Russell’s portraits of war veterans

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Former England cricketer and artist, Jack Russell MBE, is exhibiting a series of portraits at the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum in Gloucester.

Called Final Roll Call, Jack has painted portraits of ten veterans of the 1951 Battle of the Imjin River which took place during the Korean War.

“It’s been quite a journey – we managed to find ten surviving Gloucestershire Regiment veterans or soldiers that were attached, so I set about trying to paint these guys and I’ve been doing over the last year or so,” explained Jack.

DSC8382 | Video: from Stroud to Korea and back - Jack Russell's portraits of war veterans
Jack Russell.

“Hopefully on Sunday at the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum in Gloucester Quays around midday all the [eight remaining] veterans will be together for the last time.

“The exhibition here at the museum will run for the whole of winter. It’s been an amazing journey for me. None of the pictures are for sale. I’ve just done it off my own back and just out of love for these guys in the regiment, and the experience of painting them has been beyond words, really. It’s been priceless.”

DSC8388 | Video: from Stroud to Korea and back - Jack Russell's portraits of war veterans
Veteran Brian Hamblett (left) with Jack Russell.

Jack’s fascination with the Korean War began when he was in his teens and he approached veteran, Sgt Henry Peglar, who was a driving instructor, at The Prince Albert in Rodborough.

“When I was 17, I got my provisional license, and I needed somebody to teach me to drive. My driving instructor was Sergeant Henry Pegler, who I used to meet in the Prince Albert Pub up in Rodborough.

DSC8459 | Video: from Stroud to Korea and back - Jack Russell's portraits of war veterans
Lotte and Miles Lyster Connolly, licensees of The Prince Albert, with a signed copy of Jack’s book.

“But I think I probably learned more about the Korean War and the Battle of the Imjin River than I did about driving. How I passed my driving test I don’t know!”

DSC8466 | Video: from Stroud to Korea and back - Jack Russell's portraits of war veterans
The personal message to Lotte, from Jack Russell.

The exhibition runs from October 18th through to March next year.

Soldiers Of Gloucestershire Museum (soldiersofglos.com)

Pictures and video by Matt Bigwood

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