A First War "In Flanders Fields" Framed Artwork
A First War "In Flanders Fields" Framed Artwork - Artwork painted in multiple watercolours, illustrating grave markers at the right amidst the remnants of a battlefield, a torch in the left foreground of the illustration with the heading to the right of the torch in red, inscribed "InFlanders Fields", with the poem inscribed below in Old-English type: "In Flanders Fields the poppies blow / Between the crosses, row on row, / That mark our place; and in the sky / The larks, still bravely singing, fly, / Scarce heard amid the guns below. / We are the dead. / Short days ago we lived, / Felt dawn, saw sunset glow; / Loved and were loved, and now we lie / In Flanders Fields. / Take up our quarrel with the Foe, / To You from failing hands we throw / The torch - be yours to hold it high; / If Ye break faith with us who die, / We shall not sleep though poppies grow / In Flanders Fields. / - Col. John Macrae. -", the poem overlaying the illustration of a sword and signed by the artist at the lower left "Drawn by Ed. V. Chapman -21-" (1921), the illustration and poem enclosed in an ornate border, on a yellowed paper stock, in a wooden frame with glass cover, the frame measuring 265 mm x 460 mm, with a wire strung between two hooks on the reverse for wall hanging, stamped "Jordans Art Store" (Toronto) on the reverse, the artwork with scattered light soiling, the frame exhibiting paper peeling and wear on the its reverse. Better than very fine. Footnote: Edmund Victor Chapman was born on July 20, 1897 in Toronto, Ontario. resident of Toronto when he signed his Attestation Paper as a Private with the 134th Infantry Battalion "48th Highlanders", on January 31, 1916 in Toronto, at the age of 18, naming his next-of-kin as his mother, Jean Chapman of Toronto, stating that he had no previous military service, that he was Single and that his trade was that of Carpenter. He was transferred to "B" Company, 134th Infantry Battalion on April 4, 1916 and was sent to Camp Niagara for training but after seven weeks, he was discharged as "Medically Unfit" on May 25, 1916 at Niagara-on-the-Lake. However, it was determined that he was well enough to serve on the home front in Canada and was transferred to the 2nd Detachment, Canadian Garrison Regiment in Toronto, on June 26, 1916, where he would serve for the remainder of the war. In his Medical History of an Invalid, dated June 11, 1919 at Toronto, his trade is listed as "Factory Hand" and he was officially diagnosed with "Spinal Caries" (AKA tuberculous spondylitis, which is a spinal infection associated with tuberculosis and characterized by a sharp angulation of the spine where tubercle lesions are present, also called Pott's Disease). The doctor stated in his report that the malady originated in September 1915 in Toronto and that Chapman was suffering "Severe pain in back-dorsal region, during marching & physical drill. Pain in back also severe upon waking in mornings. X-Ray shows a definite mass surrounding the 2nd 3rd & 4th dorsal vertebrae." The Medical Board declared him "Medically Unfit" for a second time and he was subsequently discharged as such from the 2nd Detachment, Canadian Garrison Regiment in Toronto, on March 31, 1919, at the age of 21. Chapman died on October 11, 1939, at the age of 42. In regards to the poem "In Flanders Fields" painted by Chapman: During the early days of the Second Battle of Ypres, a young Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on May 2, 1915 in the gun positions near Ypres. An exploding German artillery shell landed near him. He was serving in the same Canadian artillery unit as a friend of his, the Canadian military doctor and artillery commander Major John McCrae. As the brigade doctor, John McCrae was asked to conduct the burial service for Alexis because the chaplain had been called away somewhere else on duty that evening. It is believed that later that evening, after the burial, McCrae was inspired and began the draft for his now famous poem “In Flanders Fields”. On January 28, 1918, while still commanding No. 3 Canadian General Hospital (McGill) at Boulogne, McCrae died of pneumonia with "extensive pneumococcus meningitis". Chapman felt that a tribute to McCrae and the fallen soldiers of the war was in order, with the resulting tribute coming in the form of this artwork.