Prisoner of War Art

Horace Wade of 6th Royal Tank Regiment

10th May 2019

Wade 2These beautiful images are part of a large collection drawn by Horace Wade of 6th Royal Tank Regiment.

Wade was captured in Libya in 1941. The 6th RTR Regimental War Diary lists Wade as "missing, believed killed" in action against German tanks on 15th/16th June 1941. He would spend around 2 years in Campo 52, Pian de Coreglia, an Italian run Prisoner of War camp, before being transferred to German run Prisoner Camp VIII-B as a forced labourer in the mineral rich region of Upper Silesia. Sadly, whilst in the coal mines, Wade’s leg would be crushed in an accident and have to be amputated. The majority of the art collection documents Wade’s experiences as a prisoner of war between 1941 and 1945.

The collection features over 70 paintings and drawings ranging from bright watercolours of Italian landscapes to pen and ink images of work parties, mock posters, haunting portraits of Polish and Russian labourers, caricatures and even wood engravings. Switching between evocative and humorous, the artwork sheds light on a lesser discussed aspect of the Second World War and remains a fascinating and moving record of the day-to-day hardships, comradeship and sheer boredom that POW’s faced. Wade survived the war and, according to our records, died in 1973.