Design and Text ©Diana Nichol 2020 All image content ©The Nichol Family , unless otherwise noted
History - Legacy
Arthur Nichol enlisted for war service in 1939 at the age of 25, set sail for the battlefields of Europe in 1940, served in Intelligence and was captured on Crete in 1941. Imprisoned in Stalag VIIIB in Poland between 1941 and 1945, he produced unique realist artworks of life in prison camp, painted posters of theatrical productions and held art classes for fellow prisoners at several Stalag camps.
A. J. Nichol 'Art in Wartime'
For most of the year 2020, we were in communication with the Australian War Memorial Art curators in hopes of bringing all of Arthur’s wartime artworks into the light. AWM Staff have been so supportive of our hopes, as to give the project their utmost attention.
Family copyright in all our dear Dad’s work has now been sorted and as a result, Memorial staff have been able to move ahead with fully cataloguing his work and preparing it for display. Staff photographers have digitised all the images for uploading to the the Australian War Memorial website and for ordering through eSales.
We have temporarily uploaded some small images to the Nichol 'Art in Wartime' gallery here, while we arrange for final copies.
Our thanks must go to Hollie Gill (Asst. Art Curator) for all her hard work on the project.
The Australian War Memorial Project
In the bitter winter of January 1945, as Soviet forces advanced on Lamsdorf camp, Arthur and around 25,000 fellow POWs, were force-marched westward in groups of around 500. They would be on foot for the next 4 months, with no knowledge of their destination. Those who survived the ordeal were finally liberated, the fortunate by American forces; those not so, by the Soviets, who would hold them hostage for several months longer. In a letter home, Arthur talks of waiting for "the Russians to let us go."
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