Item 5134 Limited Edition Print signed by Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC
We have been fortunate to purchase four limited edition prints which we are listing today, all published by ‘Legends’(UK) in 1989. Each is signed in pencil by the artist J.G.Keek and the subject, in this case Group Captain Leonard Cheshire, of 617 Dambusters Squadron. The print is numbered 602 of a limited edition of the 1000 produced in total. Group Captain Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire, VC, OM, DSO with Two Bars and DFC really needs no introduction but was born 7 September 1917 and died on 31 July 1992. He became a highly decorated Royal Air Force pilot during the Second World War. He was appointed as Commanding Officer of the legendary 617 "Dambusters" Squadron in September 1943 and pioneered a unique and effective way of marking targets. The 617 crest and motto ‘Après Moi Le Deluge’ is shown top right of the print. Cheshire was nearing the end of his fourth tour of duty in July 1944, having completed a total of 102 Operations, when he was awarded the Victoria Cross with his citation noting : “In four years of fighting against the bitterest opposition he maintained a standard of outstanding personal achievement, his successful operations being the result of careful planning, brilliant execution and supreme contempt for danger – for example, on one occasion he flew his Mustang in slow 'figures of eight' above a target obscured by low cloud, to act as a bomb-aiming mark for his squadron. Cheshire displayed the courage and determination of an exceptional leader”.He was the youngest Group Captain in the RAF and one of the most highly decorated pilots of the war, but after serving as the British observer on the Nagasaki nuclear attack he resigned from the Air Force in 1946. He subsequently founded a hospice that grew into the charity ‘Leonard Cheshire Disability’, and he became known for his work in conflict resolution; he was created Baron Cheshire in 1991 in recognition of his charitable work. For those who have not read his book ‘Bomber Pilot’ I commend it to you and it helped inspire my love of aviation back in the 1960’s. This print (and the others we have purchased) came sealed in acetate and we have left them sealed to protect them. So the actual image quality is better than that shown in our listing. This print is a large size at 24” x 1`6” (60 cm x 40 cm) and would benefit from being framed sand glazed. The print is not faded in any way and the original Cheshire pencil signature is strong. Clearly a signed limited edition that can never be repeated so grab it whilst you can!