[Malcolm Osborne, painter.] Two Autograph Letters Signed to Westley Manning, in the first describing his wartime enlistment in the Artists Rifles, and training under the artist William Lee-Hankey.
Both letters in very good condition, neatly written out on lightly-aged paper. ONE: 2pp., 4to. He begins: 'I am just sending you a line to let you know that I have now taken the plunge & have enlisted in the "Artists Rifles." So far, the change of life & exercise, I am finding quite enjoyable and beneficial, although everything seems such a contrast to previous habits of living, no doubt I shall become accustomed to things as time passes.' He has 'worried Mr Oakley Williams with reference to Red Cross work', but was told that there was 'not much chance of my services being made use of in that direction so I abandoned the idea'. He has since 'applied at the R.A.M.C. but found they were up to full strength so I have now forsaken my intention of taking Ambulance work'. He knows several of the men in the Artists' Rifles 'quite well. in fact I find that one of the Officers is Mr Lee Hankey the Etcher. [I]t seems very curious now having to stand & salute him after knowing so well in private life. He is our instructor for panoramic drawing & map drawing & makes it very interesting.' He ends in the hope that Manning has found 'a suitable place to spend the Summer'. TWO: 2pp., 12mo. On bifolium. He begins by acknowledging a cheque, 'for the proof of "Admiralty Archway" sold in Japan', and thanks him for his efforts in what has 'certainly turned out to be quite a successful venture'. He sends his sympathies to Manning for being unable to leave London, it being 'a very anxious time for Mrs Manning', and concludes with his own plans to 'spend a few days by the sea'.