top of page

Faces of War

Faces of War, the second of the books in this consolidated volume, was published immediately after the transition to Zimbabwe in April 1980.  Like almost every other white male in 1979 I was doing virtually continuous military service and living through the extraordinary events that coloured most days.  Given the political dynamics of that time publishing a book on the Rhodesian Bush War immediately after the transition to Zimbabwe seemed a little provocative but there was little fall-out.  I should record that after the transition a group of returned ZANLA fighters visited the gallery where my original drawings were hanging.  I braced myself for confrontation, but they studied the work closely before coming over to compliment me and lament that I had not been able to capture their side of the conflict.  Faces of War was an unvarnished look at Rhodesians at war and for the first time I was working as a war artist with all the limitations and restrictions that this brings, including the oversight of Combined Operations Headquarters.  


The verse in Faces of War was the work of three poets: serviceman Chas Lotter, my cousin and senior BSAP Officer David Fowler and I.  I also elected to write notes to the drawings to provide context and background and expand the understanding of readers - something I had not done in Shadows of War simply because I had not thought of it then.  Of the three books consolidated here Faces of War remains my favourite.  My drawing technique had matured and my role in the Reserve Forces gave me a strong sense of investment in the events of the day.  It also best captured my personal experience and memories of some of those who lived and died.  On a personal note, the publication of Faces of War marked the end of my life in Rhodesia, whatever it may have been called over the 26 years I lived there.  The final straw was being road-blocked with my family after the transition and having a Russian 9mm Makarov pistol jammed into my mouth while our boys stared on wide-eyed.


bottom of page