IT WAS a telegram sent almost 70 years ago by a concerned mother who had lost contact with her soldier son.
But this week, that very telegram message – or at least a copy of it – was the backdrop to a Littlehampton teenager’s impressive art project.
Rosie Edmondson, 15, a student at The Littlehampton Academy, has used the harrowing tale of family friend and Second World War veteran, Dennis Hosgood, as the inspiration behind her GCSE art project.
She used a black ballpoint pen to draw a dramatic sketch of the 88-year-old’s face on a copy of the telegram in an effort to raise awareness of the war in a different way.
Inspired by London-based artist Mark Powell’s Biro portraits, Rosie said: “I just thought that it was quite a strong story and that not many people would have known about it.”
Rosie started by learning about Dennis’ active service with the Army during the Second World War.
The great-grandfather-of-two, of The Winter Knoll, Littlehampton, joined the Army aged 17, in 1943, having already served as part of the Home Guard.
He saw action across much of continental Europe, fighting the Nazis in France, Holland and Belgium.
He was also part of the failed Operation Market Garden assault in 1944.
Twenty miles into Germany, he was wounded by a piece of shrapnel hitting his face and was evacuated from the front.
After recovering, Dennis was part of British forces sent to occupy Japan after the war.
It was during this time that his mother lost contact with him for a few days after an earthquake hit the country.
Speaking of Rosie’s project, Dennis said: “I was very impressed when I saw it. It’s very good. I think it’s rather flattering.”
The academy’s principal, Marianne Gentilli, was also impressed. She said: “It’s absolutely fabulous. We are very proud of what she has done. The photos are really clear and hopefully it will inspire other students in the school.”