V 529- Timmy’s blanket 

Acrylic on Service Blanket 

202 X 127cm 


On his 18th birthday our father enlisted with the RAAF. This blanket was his constant companion and comforter for the duration of his war service, initially south of Darwin and then on Bougainville. In what would have been his centenary year (he died at the cricketing “devil’s number” age of 87) his blanket has been painted in his memory. 

The Northern Territory clay forms the background colour for a plethora of wildflowers, poppies, aircraft marking roundels and a few cricket balls. The vertical blue stripes of the blanket provide structure for the airfields he was involved in building, or perhaps the centre square and pitches of his beloved MCG. 

Possibly an apocryphal story, but one of few recounted of his war years, tells of his Commanding Officer owning, like a test umpire, a box of red Kookaburra cricket balls. When he deemed a runway finished he would throw Timmy, a tearaway fast bowler, a ball and watch as he bowled an over from either end to test for evenness and bounce. 

Humour and ingenuity trumped adversity.