Ernest Waldron West, 1904 - 1994
Portrait of Private Pete Hobbs of Norton Barracks, Worcester 1941
Pete Hobbs of Norton Barracks, Worcester 1941
2nd May 1941

inscribed as title on the stretcher and further signed and dated on the reverse

oil on canvas
76.20 x 63.50 cm. (30 x 25 in.)


Norton Barracks was he home of the Worcestershire regiment. In 1939 the function of the Depot was still to train recruits and administer the regimental home. Early in 1940 a principle was established by which training divided into “Primary” training, covering the first six weeks of service, and “Corps” training, which concentrated on the more advanced training for infantry as such. To meet requirements the 23rd Infantry Training Centre (I.T.C.) was set up at Norton with two Primary Training Companies and two Corps Training Companies, the old Depot dwindling to a small Depot party and reduced to a strength of four officers and a few other ranks. Initially the number swarming into the barracks was so great that the old Jam factory (now Morgan Crucible) was requisitioned and a hutted camp built which included large Officers' and Sergeants' Messes, two O.R's cookhouses, two parade grounds and M.T. garages. At the end of the War an American unit moved into the hutted camp while the old Depot continued under the title of 29 P.T.C. (Primary Training Company). It is likely that this portrait of Private Hobbs was painted by the artist during the period of training at the barracks.