LAST week, on this page, local arts enthusiast Colin Neville wrote about Ilkley landscape artist Norman Tennant, who survived the First World War, receiving a Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery, and went on to carve a successful career in art education.

Norman joined the local Territorial Army unit, the West Riding Howitzer Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery, and was a signaller on the Western Front.

He was awarded the DCM in 1915 for wounds suffered while repairing telephone wires under heavy shellfire. In 1918 he suffered wounds to the face, and was removed from active duty for the rest of the war.

Norman kept diaries and sketchbooks during his war service and in 1983 his book, A Saturday Night Soldier’s War, was published, featuring his pencil drawings from the Front.

After the war Norman returned to Bradford Art School and went on to the Royal College of Art where he became a friend of renowned artist and engraver, Robert Austin.

Norman qualified as a teacher at the Royal College and from 1922 he taught at several art colleges.

His watercolours of beloved Yorkshire landscapes were exhibited at prestigious venues including Royal Academy shows and Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery. Norman died in 1998, aged 101.

Now Margaret Harley has sent us this photograph of what she thinks was a 1964 dinner (marking the 50th anniversary of the start of the war) of the D245 Battery - the Ilkley Territorial Unit, 11th West Riding Howitzer Battery, which Norman served with.

Norman could well be in this picture, as he attended a later reunion dinner in 1968. Margaret knows this because he signed a menu from that evening. Alas, no photograph of the 1968 dinner though - unless any of you readers have one.

Writes Margaret: “The 1964 menu is slightly bigger and the meal more elaborate, with “anniversary cake” to have with the coffee, so it was perhaps more likely that they would also have a photograph taken then.

“There are 41 men on the photo, but only 21 and 22 signatures on the two 50th anniversary menus.

“One signature is by Major Petrie, the commanding officer of the Ilkley Battery. He changed his name in Sept 1914 from Steinthal (Bradford wool merchants of German origin), and was very much liked by his men. Major Petrie signed only the 1964 menu, but he proposed the toast to ‘The Queen’ both years. Norman Tennant has signed the 1968 menu, but not the1964 one.

“I suppose it is possible that there are still people in Ilkley who remember these old men from the 1960s.”

* Colin Neville profiles the lives and work of 20 local artists in his new book Lesser Known Artists of the Bradford District (1860-1997).Says Colin: “They may be ‘lesser-known’ now, but in their heydays that certainly wasn’t the case. Many enjoyed considerable success and acclaim in their lifetimes.  But sadly in the art world unless your work is continually in the public arena, your name can quickly fade from sight. I hope the book will revive interest in these neglected artists.” Visit