A unique diary that gives a first-hand insight into the lives of World War II pilots will be one of the wartime lots on offer at Cambridge auction house Cheffins‘ Connoisseur’s Sale next month.
The fascinating slice of history belonged to the most successful Spitfire pilot, Wing Commander (later Air Vice-Marshall) James Edgar ‘Johnnie’ Johnson, CB, CBE, DSO.
The diary is one item from the Foyle Collection from Beeleigh Abbey in Essex. The collection comprises almost 50 lots, including many works by 20th-century British Century artists, such as portraits of the 610 squadron by Olive Snell, and eight paintings (including a self-portrait) by Wilfred Stanley Haines, (1905-1944). Haines was a WWII fireman with the National Fire Service’s River Thames formation who was killed by a flying bomb outside a pub in Southwark. The paintings will range in estimates from £200 to £2,000.
Elsewhere, there is a radio-controlled scale model of the Westland Lysander, nicknamed ‘Lizzie’. The Westlander Lysander was designed as a reconnaissance and artillery-spotting aircraft to work with the British army. It was used in a variety of roles during WWII, including air/sea rescue and transport. The model will have an estimate of £300-500.
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