Pastel and watercolour drawing depicting an air battle over the English Channel between a squadron of the RAF’s Supermarine Spitfires and the Luftwaffe’s Heinkel HE111 H-6 bomber. The White Cliffs of Dover can be seen in the distance. Signed J A Reiss and dated 6th February 1940.
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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