James Boswell (1906-1971) was a New Zealand-born British painter, illustrator, draughtsman and socialist… Among many drawings of life in Britain during the 1930s, he sketched life amid war-time Britain, including his services in Iraq. Such atmosphere evoked boredom and solitude of military life… Fierce, surreal sketches graphically illustrated his view of war more symbolically:
"a bestial farce conducted by bulls. These Orwellian animals, often dressed in generals' uniforms, heave their obese bulk through page after page. They ride on the backs of exhausted Tommies, pause with a watering-can to sprinkle a flower-pot containing the grotesquely dismembered skeleton of a soldier and sit on a hideous pile of corpses and ruined buildings while they type out a mass of documents which sail ridiculously into the sky. Sometimes they play at doctors and press a telescope to their ears in order to inspect a truncated, headless body held up with callous unconcern by two horned orderlies. And then they turn into bespectacled priests who ram a huge graveyard cross into a hapless soldier's mouth. The flow of imagery is as prodigal as it is remorseless, suggesting that Boswell treated these sketchbooks as a cathartic outlet for all his deepest loathing of war"