Swansea’s Three Night Blitz
It is 80 years since Swansea’s Three Nights’ Blitz, the heavy and prolonged bombing of Swansea by the German Luftwaffe during the Second World War. The bombing took place on the 19, 20 and 21 February 1941. Local artist Will Evans captured the devastating scenes through a series of paintings, which are part of the City and County of Swansea: Glynn Vivian Art Gallery collection.
Will Evans (1888-1957)
Will Evans, born in Waun Wen in 1888, was a noted Swansea painter of both town and country scenes, and also a skilled lithographer and respected art teacher.
In 1937, he established the department of lithography at Swansea School of Art, at the request of the Principal William Grant Murray (1877-1950). A new printing school was opened in Rutland Street in February 1940 after nearly a decade in the planning, but sadly it was destroyed in the Three Nights’ Blitz of February 1941 only a year later.
The attacks on Swansea made a deep impression on Will Evans, who lived in Stanley Terrace in Mount Pleasant where he had a bird’s-eye view over the city from his home. He documented the aftermath in a series of watercolour paintings showing the devastation rendered in Swansea by the continuous bombing by the German Luftwaffe.
These works are of great historical importance to Swansea, a precious record captured in paint, and the Glynn Vivian has several examples in the collection.
All images © Anne Sandifer and Jennifer Cockle. City and County of Swansea: Glynn Vivan Art Gallery Collection.