Pastel and watercolour depiction of aerial combat between the RAF’s Armstrong Whitworth bombers and the Luftwaffe’s Messerschmidt BF109 with some air crew parachuting from a stricken plane. Possibly representing the first day of WWll when British bomber planes were sent to drop propaganda leaflets over Germany. Signed J A Reiss and dated 1st October 1939.
James Arthur Reiss (1870 - 1942) was born into a highly successful and wealthy German immigrant family of Cotton Merchants originally from Frankfurt who settled in Lancashire in the early part of the 19th century. A student of Marlborough College, he obtained his BA from New College, Oxford, in Law and Classics in 1892. He joined the family business, Reiss Bros Cotton Merchants and Cotton Brokers in the Cotton Exchange Buildings in Liverpool and, at the advent of the First World War, joined the 25th Division of the 17th Battalion Cheshires and served with this regiment until 1922. Captain James Arthur Reiss was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre First Class and was mentioned in despatches from Field-Marshall Sir Douglas Haig, Commander in Chief to the British Armies in France on 15th May 1917 and 5th July 1919.
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