VERNEY, Sir John

1913 - 1993

Sir John Verney

John Verney, later Sir John, 2nd Bart, was born in London on 30 September 1913, son of [later Sir] Ralph Verney (25 May 1879-22 February 1959), secretary to the Speaker of the House of Commons, his son John inherited the baronetcy as Sir John of Eaton Square in 1959, his mother was Janette Cheveria Hamilton née Walker (9 May 1889-5 February 1982) of Sydney, NSW, who married on 11 November 1909 and in 1939 were living at 15 Ennismore Gardens, Westminster, London. Following education at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, John studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing, at the Architectural Association School and at Chelsea School of Art. A painter and illustrator, film director's assistant, Yeomanry officer and parachutist, inventor of the 'Dodo-Pad' and author of one of the best memoirs of the Second World War, 'Going to the Wars' (1955) previously he had published travel articles which were gathered in 1954 as 'Verney Abroad'. During the Second World War, Verney took an active part in the Sicilian and Italian campaigns and was taken prisoner being awarded the Military Cross in 1944. He may have developed into a significant abstract painter, but he preferred to tackle commissions from publishers for illustrations in the manner of Edward Ardizzone. Collins continued to publish a number of children's books, and wrote and illustrated 'Ismo' (1964), 'Friday's Tunnel' (1959) and 'The Mad King of Chichboo' (1963) and two semi-autobiographical books, 'Every Advantage' (1961) and 'Fine Day for a Picnic' (1968), as well as a further volume of memoirs, 'A Dinner of Herbs' (1966) and a selection of his occasional pieces appeared in 1989 but his most abiding interest was in his annual 'Dodo-Pad'. He exhibited at the Artists International Association; Leicester; Redfern Gallery and New Grafton Galleries, his pictures often of the amusing mock-na´ve type. He lived at Runwick House, Farnham, Surrey before moving to Clare in Suffolk in 1977. He married in 1939, Jeannie Lucinda Musgrave (1 November 1916-20 July 2014), had two sons, of which one died at the age of 8, and five daughters. Sir John Verney died at Clare, Suffolk on 2 February 1993.

Works by This Artist