Exhibited: WW2 - War Pictures by British Artists, Morley College London, 28 October -23 November 2016, cat 86.
Literature: WW2 - War Pictures by British Artists, Edited by Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2016, cat 86, page 129.
By 1943 there were 7.25 million women engaged in war-related employment , the majority in agriculture, manufacturing and ciil defence.
Although recording the role of women was one of the stated aims of WAAC Brian Foss has pointed out that with the scheme there are a predominance of pictures of women as nurses ,’inspite of the fact that in 1943 (munitions worker) outnumbered (nurse) by 100 to 1.
During the war Finney served in the Ambulance Crews of the Air Raid Precautions Service, later named Civil Defence, for a period of four years until in 1945 he got pleurisy.
As we were in contact with the Ambulance Service XXXX made many drawings of the nurses, and I had admiration for many of the Ambulance personell, who were youg firls of good breeding and social standing, for their courage during their work when the night boming started and we had no defences. During the early part of the Battle of Britain, I would go down to an Anderson Shelter in the garden of the house, in which I rented a room and the tenant above me a with with two young children also shared the shelter through the long night while the German planes did what they liked in the sky above because except for barrage balloons and a little aircraft fire we had no defences in the beginning of the second world war.
On the night of the night of the great fire of London when I could see the red glow increasing over central London, it was my day off from duty, and when I was in my room in Hammersmith I could hear the German Planes approaching at about 6.30 pm and I watched the fires gradually increasing around the city centre and this went on until almost midnight. ....
My passion for painting and drawing was always with me and becaue the building we were housed in at the the beginning of the war was dreaery and my associates were unawakened to the sense of beauty, my own yearning to create increased not diminished. .... I made a painting of a crater made by a time bomb in the garden of Kingston House where we were housed.....
My health was beginning to show signs of breaking and I was sent to a Civial Defence Convalescent house after a serious broncial cold. I never ceased to draw and paint and I presented one painting to the Convaslacent Home before I left. I also painted a ceiling in a municipal theatre and the back stage in the depot of Kinston House and held a drawing class one evening a week for the Ambulance and Rescue Service Personell.