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Doctord84

Camel Corps drawing

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Doctord84

Came across this charming little pen & ink drawing when I was putting together a shortlist of items for our upcoming 'Legacy' exhibition - see my previous post elsewhere (the display opens this Saturday at Beverley Art Gallery). The signature underneath is a little indistinct, but appears to be James McCrory or something similar and the scene is of Camel Corps soldiers somewhere in Sinai. Seems to have been donated in the late 1970's, but otherwise we don't have much information about it. Would be interesting to know if the artist served in the regiment.

 

David

1993.454.jpg

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slick63

This link of any use ? ....  https://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=737840&partId=1

 

Quote

James McBey (Biographical details)

James McBey (printmaker; painter/draughtsman; British; Male; 1883 - 1959)

Also known as

McBey, James

Address

1 Holland Park Avenue, London (1932)

Biography

Etcher and watercolourist, b. near Aberdeen. Originally worked in a bank, self-taught as etcher. Resigned in 1910, then to Amsterdam, then settled in London, Travelled to Spain and elsewhere. Commissioned as a second Lieutenant in the First World War, McBey was recommended by Campbell Dodgson to the appointment of official war artist with the British Expeditionary Force under General Allenby in Egypt. He sailed on 26 May 1917. Before he returned to England he had also completed two portraits which were to become famous, one of King Feisal, and one of T.E. Lawrence.
The artist's archive can now be accessed at the Aberdeen Art Gallery, Schoolhill, Aberdeen, AB10 1FQ.

 

Edited by slick63

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Eran Tearosh

 

James Mcbey is one of my favorite sources of visual items I show at many sites of the Palestine campaign. As far as I know, he made some 300 works during this campaign, including a series about a 5 day Sinai Desert patrol of the Imperial Camel Corps, which Mcbey joined. Most likely that the drawing in post # 1 is from that patrol. 

 

His works describe almost the entire campaign, including Jerusalem, Judean Desert, Sharon plain, the Vale of Jizrael, the Jordan River and many other sites. Great stuff. 

 

Eran 

 

 

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seaJane

Well done slick63 and Eran, that looks like the man!

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Doctord84

Thanks All

 

That looks a very likely match - I'll have to do some more work on this drawing and the artist.. It's a shame we don't have much of a provenance for it. For anyone in our area, it's now on display.

 

David

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stevebecker

Mates,

 

These are of cause Australian Camel Corps soldiers, as the slouch hat gives it away. British ICC soldiers would not wear them (I think by their officers not the men) or they could be NZ soldiers as there head dress like us Aussies.

 

I found no referance to McBey with any Camel Corps company, so when he was attached at at what date and area is unknown?

 

The only ref is the Australian War artist but that was later 

 

But possibly either in Sinai during 1916 or in the Gaza defences 1917?

 

And as he arrived around late 1917 then one of the companies around that time.

 

As to the names you gave

 

McConnack    James    51139    Sgt    possibly 7Co? ICC shown att ICC depot 8-18 rtn 2Bn with Pte Nield 8-18 Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5872) and Corps of Hussars
 

The only man named McCrory in the three major national groups with the ICC;

 

McCRORY    Urban Hugh    2592    Pte    Storeman age 31 Port Melbourne Vic Enl 16-10-16 Emb 9R/ICC (3 Cml Regt). Dtls camp 4-4-17 to 4 LHTR 6-5-17 tos ASqn/4 LHR 21-8-17 to hosp 30-11-17 (diarria) rtn 21-2-18 to Sig Trg unit 3-7-18 rtn 20-7-18 RTA 15-6-19 "Essex"
 

 

S.B

Edited by stevebecker

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seaJane

James McBey's correspondence in Glasgow and Edinburgh: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_q="James McBey" OR "McBey%2C James"

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_McBey

 

He has a fairly comprehensive article in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography which you should be able to access at home via your library card (or at the library if no card). Extract: "After several rejections, in 1916 McBey was commissioned as a second lieutenant, and while attached to the army printing and stationery office in Boulogne and Rouen made drawings of the battlefields. However, the following year he was appointed official war artist to the Egyptian expeditionary force, and he remained in the Near East until 1919."

Edited by seaJane

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Doctord84

Thanks both.

 

It's a really nice work anyway; he clearly had considerable talent.

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Neill Gilhooley

Following one of the Wikipedia links...

James McBey, Scottish (1883-1959)
The Desert of Sinai (Nº 2), etching, 1919. Hardie 184. Edition of 76. 7 3/4 x 13 5/8 inches. Signed in ink. On 19th century laid paper.

Sinai.jpg.791aa45195086ed74b279dbd1e6f140d.jpg

https://conradgraeber.com/james-mcbey/the-desert-of-sinai-n-2

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stevebecker

Mate,

 

This had me looking ;

 

"McBey spent five days on a reconnaissance mission in the Sinai Desert with an Imperial Camel Corps patrol, consisting of rough-riders from the Australian outback"

 

This leads me to the time and area he was with the ICC.

 

After the fighting at Bald Hill, the Camel Bde was moved from around Mulebbis to Shellal, where they arrived around 12 Dec 1917.

 

There they rested untill March 1918 when the Camel Bde moved up to the Jordan for the Amman operation.

 

During this time the Bde carried out a number of patrols was they rested and trained around Rafa.

 

Since we know these are Australians, we can discount the (at the time inderpendant) 5th Company stationed at Beersheba who carried out a number of patrols out to the eastern desert and to the southern area.

 

One interesting one

5-2-18  5Co under Capt Reid with Capt Nathan OET (Egyptian Army ECTC) (5 officer 138 men 173 camels + 6 natives ECTC) patrol from Tel el Millar via Beersheba to Kasr Um Baghag on the Dead Sea rtn by 9-2-18

 

Other patrols by Australians with the Camel Bde

 

2-1-18   3Bn ICC at Kantara patrol work out to Ferdan

13-2-18  2x Sect  (possibly 4Co) 1Bn ICC under Capt Denson (5 officers 86 men) patrol to Asluj and Esani (Khalasa) with Capt Truscott RE to check for salvaging material return 17-2-18

27-2-18    Lt Gull Intell officer 1Bn with scouts and snipers on Trek to Beersheba and returned

 

Now how these became Rough Riders, a Term used for men who were breaking the animals (horses and camels) at the remount depots 

 

So is that a red herring?

 

The Offical Australian War Artist , George Lambert also arrived with the Camel Bde around this time, and his many sketches and later paintings are a wonder.

 

Cheers

 

S.B

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