The Art of War—Bertram Sandy and Laurence H. Sandy

Welcome to 108 Fine Art Gallery, where we proudly present an upcoming exhibition featuring works by Bertram Sandy (1887-1974) and his son, Laurence H. Sandy (1920-2000). The opening event will take place on Saturday, 8th June 2024, from 2pm to 4pm, and will feature live music in honour of the 80th anniversary of the Normandy Landings. This significant commemoration is happening across the UK, and we are thrilled to be part of it.

Father and Son: Different Journeys, Shared Themes

Though father and son had different artistic journeys, they shared a common theme: war. Bertram Sandy focused on the air, with dramatic scenes of reconnaissance missions and aerial combat during the First World War, while Laurence H. Sandy captured the sea and naval life during and after the Second World War. These diverse yet intertwined perspectives offer a compelling look at the human experience during times of conflict.

Bertram Francis Sandy: An Airborne Observer

Bertram Sandy’s story is one of courage and creativity. Born in 1887, he practised architecture in Canada before the First World War. In 1915, he joined the Artists Rifles 28 Battalion, London Regiment, and later became an observer with the Royal Flying Corps. His role was perilous—capturing photographs of enemy aerodromes and defending his own aircraft during bombing raids. Sandy’s watercolours capture the essence of aerial combat, with notable works like ‘Raid over Mannheim’ and ‘Fight in the Clouds.’ His paintings are in the Imperial War Museum and other esteemed collections, a testament to his artistic skill and his unique perspective from the cockpit.


Laurence H. Sandy: A Maritime Visionary

Laurence Sandy’s paintings of maritime life are captivating and energetic. Born in 1920, he served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War before studying at St. Martin’s School of Art in London. Sandy’s work exemplifies rhythmic fluency, with pieces like ‘Blue Seascape, Regatta’ illustrating the fluidity and dynamism of sea and sky. He brought maritime scenes to life through his ability to capture both the intensity and beauty of the sea. He was often commissioned to portray individual yachts and was known to work from his own yacht on the Medina.


Exhibition Information

Opening Date: Saturday, 8th June 2024, from 2pm to 4pm
Location: 108 Fine Art Gallery, Harrogate
Closing Date: Saturday, 29th June 2024,

All works are available for purchase. For further details or any inquiries, please contact us. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 5pm.


Appendix: A Glimpse into the Battlefield

To give you a sense of Bertram Sandy’s experiences, we share an excerpt from his time as an observer:

“Look!” cried my Pilot.
I looked. Up above us, just emerging from a cloudbank appeared some tiny grey specks. I counted five. Turning to my camera, I exposed another plate, for of our many objectives, the German aerodrome 20,000 ft below, was the final, and most important.
The task did not prove easy for my hands had become benumbed with cold. A “zip zip” of bullets, however, aroused me to strenuous effort, and the plate was exposed. Our pursuers had now closed in upon us and were literally making rings around our machine. The colour of the enemy craft too was discernible. It was dark red, with the usual distinguishing mark, a black Maltese cross. The latter I was prepared for over enemy territory. But the red- was Richthofen’s colour! My pilot was as fully alive to our danger as I. He, too, knew that important as were our lives to us, of greater importance to G.H.Q. were the negatives we carried.

aerial map