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Item Name: Drawing
Title: First Note of Subject, The Relief of Mons
Maker: Inglis Sheldon-Williams
Year: 1918
Country: Canadian
Materials: pencil on paper
Measurements: overall: 13.6 cm x 9.7 cm
ID Number: PC83.1.71
Legal Status: PERMANENT COLLECTION


Extended Label Info: Inglis Sheldon-Williams served as an artist for Canada in the First World War, in the war artist program. This series of drawings was sketched on-site in Belgium as preparation for the painting entitled, “The Return to Mons”. The painting, now part of the Canadian War Museum Collection, documents Belgian civilians and Canadian troops celebrating in the town square at Mons, shortly after the city's liberation from German forces in 1918. Mons had been the site of the first battle fought by the British Army in the WW1, and when the British were forced to retreat, the town was occupied by German forces until the final days of the war. The Canadian Corps liberated the city during the two days prior to the end of World War I. The Armistice was declared on November 11th in 1918, at 11 a.m. (Henry) Inglis (Jodrell) Sheldon-Williams (1879-1940) was born in Hampshire, England. The son of a landscape painter, Sheldon-Williams immigrated to Canada in 1887 with his mother and sister, settling in Cannington Manor, Saskatchewan. He returned to England to study at the Slade School of Art, after which he traveled extensively in South Africa, India and Europe, producing drawings and watercolor illustrations that were published in London periodicals. In 1899, he joined the British army and served in South Africa, producing drawings and illustrations of scenes from the war. In 1913, Sheldon-Williams returned to Saskatchewan to settle in Regina where he met Norman MacKenzie, a prominent lawyer and art collector who became a strong supporter and patron. In 1916 Sheldon-Williams helped establish the Art Department at Regina College, and then left Saskatchewan to serve overseas as an official Canadian war artist in World War 1. After the war, Williams resettled in Europe.