A post by Chris Dubbs on the Facebook Page Artists of the First World War led me to research Francis Edgar Dodd.
Francis studied art at the Glasgow School of Art, where a fellow student was Muirhead Bone, who married Francis’s sister Gertrude Helena. In 1893, while studying in Glasgow, Francis won the Haldane Scholarship, awarded by the Trustees at the School for travel. That enabled him to study art in France, Italy and later Spain. Francis returned to Britain in 1895, where he lived in Manchester, before moving to Blackheath in London in 1904. While in Manchester, Francis became friendly with Charles Holden, the architect.
In 1911, Francis married Mary A. Ingle. The couple lived at Arundel House, Blackheath Park, in Blackheath, London SE3.
In 1916, Francis was appointed official war artist by Charles Masterman, the Head of the War Propaganda Bureau (WPB), replacing Muirhead Bone. He served on the Western Front and painted over thirty portraits of senior military personnel. On 5th June 1918, Francis joined the Royal Navy.
Surrendered U-boat under British flag 20 Nov 1918 by Francis Dodd. IWM image
Francis was appointed a Trustee of the Tate Gallery in 1929, a position he held for six years. He was elected an Associate Member of the Royal Academy in 1927 and a full Member in 1935.
After the death of his first wife, Francis married Ellen Margaret Tanner in March 1949. Ellen was the model for his painting “Lady in Black”. Francis died at his home in Blackheath on 7th March 1949.
Portrait of Francis Dodd painted by his nephew Stephen Bone (13 November 1904 – 15 September 1958) – son of Muirhead Bone and Francis’s sister Gertrude.