STONEHOUSE, Brian Julian Warry

1918 - 1998

Brian Stonehouse

Brian Julian Warry Stonehouse was born at Torquay, Devon on 29 August 1918, son of Thomas Dale Stonehouse (5 May 1875-1947), a mechanical engineer, and his third wife Bertha Agnes Warry (17 October 1880-6 March 1963), who married at Ipswich in 1938. Thomas's first wife was Laura Sophia White (1861-1902), who married at Portardawe, Wales on 15 April 1900 and in 1901 they were living at 2 The Banks, Belgrave Terrace, St Sampson, Guernsey, C.I., and a child Marshall Dale White Stonehouse was born on 5 May 1902. Thomas married secondly in Guernsey in 1906 Charlotte and in the 1911 census his wife is given as 47-year-old Charlotte. Brian's mother was Guernsey born schoolteacher Bertha Agnes Warry who did not marry Thomas, at Ipswich, until 1938. Brian had at least two Warry siblings, Dale Peren Warry (died 14 July 2016) and Marguerite Dale (31 May 1917-13 February 2011). Brian was educated at Wimereux, Pas-de-Calais and in 1930 the family settled at Stowmarket, Suffolk. Brian studied at the Ipswich School of Art and in 1939 the family were living at 372 Norwich Road, Ipswich but his parents died back at Stowmarket. Brian obtained work on 'The Vogue' magazine, drawing ladies' underwear but on the outbreak of the Second World War, he joined the Territorial Army and was later conscripted into the Royal Artillery. In 1940 he worked as an interpreter for French troops in Glasgow who had been evacuated from Norway and in the autumn of 1941, when training for a commission in the 121 Officer Cadet Unit, the Special Operations Executive contacted him and, due to his fluency in French, SOE recruited him as a wireless operator with code name of Celestin. On 1 July 1941, Stonehouse was parachuted into occupied France and, together with another agent, Blanche Charlet, contacted the other SOE agents making regular contact with London but was arrested by the Germans in Chateau Hurlevent near Lyon on 24 October 1941. In 1944, he was transferred to the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp in Alsace, where he drew sketches for the camp commandant, guards, and their families, but was sent to the Dachau concentration camp until liberated by U.S. troops on 29 April 1945. After the war he was awarded a military MBE, remaining in the military for a few months and was a captain working for the Allied Control Commission in Frankfurt, Germany assisting with interrogation of Gestapo and SS members. After 1946, Stonehouse continued his career as a fashion artist in the United States, painting for magazines such as 'Vogue', 'Harper's Bazaar' and 'Elizabeth Arden' but in 1979 returned to the UK and became a portrait painter with clients including members of the Royal family. One of his last portraits was of The Queen Mother, which still hangs in the Special Forces Club in London. During his final years Stonehouse was an active Theosophist living at the London branch of the United Lodge of Theosophists. Brian Julian Warry Stonehouse died in London on 2 December 1998. Moyse's Hall Museum in Bury St Edmund's discovered and facilitated the handing over of his collections following a 'Victory in Europe Day' and Victory in Japan day exhibition, to which the family had bought Brian's art and other personal artefacts.

Works by This Artist