Return Of The Few

Philip West





Return Of The Few Philip West

In Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain

September 1940. Geoffrey 'boy' Wellum together with other 92 Squadron Spitfire pilots return to their home base following yet another busy day's fighting enemy aircraft over Southern England. They will be exhausted, their nerves stretched to the limit but they live to fly and fight another day. They live to fly and fight another day. These courageous young men will once again do their duty in the fight for freedom and victory.



Every print in the entire edition is signed and numbered in pencil by the artist Philip West and countersigned by Flt. Lt. Geoffrey Wellum DFC (Battle of Britain pilot). Artist proofs and Remarque editions are additionally signed by Three Battle of Britain veteran pilots.

The Artist Proofs and Remarque Editions

The Artist Proofs and Remarque editions are additionally signed by Flight Lieutenant Richard Jones, Wing Commander Bob Foster DFC AE, Wing Commander J.F.D, ‘Tim’ Elkington.

Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum DFC. joined the RAF with a Short Service Commission in August 1939. He joined no 92 Squadron flying Spitfires in June 1940 at the time of Dunkirk. He flew throughout the Battle of Britain, later completing over 50 fighter sweeps and escorts over northern France and Belgium until August 1941. He then joined 65 Squadron as Flight Commander in March 1942 operating over northern France and flew off Aircraft Carrier Furious on operation Pedestal, to Malta. (Geoff was a Flt. Lt. during “Operation Pedestal”) He returned to the UK as a test pilot Gloster Aircraft and finished the war as a Pilot Attack Instructor. Geoffrey was credited with three destroyed, four probables and several damaged and was awarded the DFC in July 1941.

Flight Lieutenant Richard Jones, began operational flying in 1940 with 64 Squadron flying Spitfires out of Kenley airfield, Surrey, from where he was in action during the Battle of Britain. When 64 Squadron was withdrawn from the front line Richard joined No 19 Squadron based at Fowlmere, part of the Duxford Sector. 19 Squadron was part of “The Big Wing”, led by Douglas Bader, the legendary legless fighter pilot. As the Battle of Britain was drawing to a close Fl. Lt. Jones was shot down by a Me109 during a dogfight over Kent. After the Battle of Britain he became a test pilot for Hawker Hurricanes and many other aircraft types.

Wing Commander Bob Foster DFC AE flying career began shortly before WW2, when he learnt to fly with the RAFVR. Called up for war service in September 1939, he completed his training and was posted to 605 Squadron, equipped with Hawker Hurricanes. By early September 1940 he and his Squadron were in the thick of the air fighting over southern England, operating from Croydon during the Battle of Britain. Surviving the Battle, he later became an instructor, but shortly after joining 54 Squadron, which had Spitfires, he and this unit became part of a group sent out to Australia to help defend the Darwin area. Bob's squadron and two others, 452 and 457, engaged the Japanese incursions throughout 1943. Awarded the DFC for his efforts, he returned to the UK and was given an assignment with a RAF public relations outfit, ending up in Normandy within three weeks of the invasion of 1944. Often serving right up in the front lines, Bob saw the war at very close hand.

Wing Commander J.F.D, ‘Tim’ Elkington. John Francis Durham Elkington was born in Warwickshire on the 23 of December, 1920. He entered Cranwell as a Flight Cadet in 1939. Tim obtained his commission on 14 July, 1940 and joined No. 1 Squadron at Northolt. He shot down a ME 109 on 15 August, but was himself shot down and wounded on the 16th in Hurricane P3137. After sick leave to convalescent he was posted to 55 OTU as an instructor. He joined 601 Squadron in late May of 1941 and stayed with the squadron through July. Tim then joined 134 Squadron forming at Leconfield and bound for service in Russia. The squadron embarked on HMS Argus and took off of the carrier for an airfield near Murmansk. Eventually Tim wound up back in 1 Squadron for a time before being posted to 539 Squadron which were flying Havocs. Tim then went to 197 Squadron at Drem flying Typhoons. The squadron left for India in December, 1943. With varying other service, Tim had a long career in the RAF, not retiring until 1975 with the rank of Wing Commander.


Matching numbered certificate of authenticity included.

Overall Print Size 27" x 17 1/4" (inches) Printed in lightfast inks on acid free archival paper.

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Primary Edition Print
UK £140.00 Edition Size - 100

Artist Proof Edition
UK £165.00 Edition Size - 50

Remarque Edition
UK £315.00 Edition Size - 10

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Helpful information regarding our Limited Edition Prints

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An edition of identical prints, numbered sequentially and individually signed by the artist, having a stated limit to the quantity in the edition. Following publication the printing plates are destroyed. Almost all the aviation art and aircraft prints featured on this website are authenticated with the original signatures of distinguished military personnel.

Artists Proof:

An old tradition of reserving a quantity of prints for the artist's use, usually equal to about 10 % of the edition. In the early days of printing, these prints were the only remuneration the poor artist received. Proofs are signed by the artist and numbered showing the quantity of Artist's Proofs issued in the edition. Because of their highly restricted number, Artist's Proofs are sold at a higher value than the regular prints in the edition.

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A quantity of prints, not always announced or issued at the time of publication, usually equal to no more than 10% of the edition. These are reserved for the publisher's use, mostly for donation to Museums, Service establishments, Service Associations, and the like. Quantities of Publishers Proofs, sometimes issued with a supplementary print, may be made available to collectors either at the time of publication, or at a later date, depending upon availability.

Remarqued print:

A print issued with an original pencil drawing by the artist in the margin, each numbered out of the quantity of individually remarqued prints in the edition. The quantity of remarqued prints in any one edition generally is between 25 and 50. Each remarque drawing made by the artist is slightly different, thus making each print totally unique. Remarqued prints may be available at the time of publication, or announced at a later date, depending upon the artist's work load at the time .Please be aware that Remarque prints can take up to six weeks for delivery. An artist remarqued print is the ultimate collector item in terms of reproduced work.

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