GILES, Godfrey Douglas

1857 - 1941

Godfrey Douglas Giles was born at Karachi, now named Kurrachee, Pakistan on 9 November 1857 and baptised on 28 December 1857, son of Capt. Edward Giles, R.N. (c1818-1886), and his wife Emily Atkins (1826-1884), youngest daughter of the late John Atkins (c1858-2 December 1840) and Miss Maria White, who married at Ashcott on 17 November 1806, of Ashcott House, Somerset, Godfrey and Emily married at Belleau, Lincolnshire on 11 January 1854. Godfrey entered Sandhurst to launch his military career, a sub-lieutenant on 10 September 1875 being posted to India and on 10 November 1879 promoted captain 7th Foot on Bombay Staff Corps. With the 1st Sindh Horse, he served in the Second Afghan War being present at the battle of Hhuski-Nakhuda in February 1879 and later painted the 'Charge of the Sindh Horse at Khuski-Nakhuda'. He accompanied the Gordon Relief Expedition to Sudan and commanded the Turkish cavalry at El Teb, providing a sketch of the battle, which was the basis for a large fold-out panorama of the battle in 'The Graphic' of 1 March 1884 and, when he returned to Cairo, painting a scene of the battle in which year he was awarded the Order of the Osmanieh by the Khedive of Egypt. He retired from the army in 1884 and the following year he went to Paris and studied under Charles Emile Carolus-Duran (1838-1917) and successfully exhibited at the Paris Salon and at the Royal Academy from various London studio addresses. He then settled in Newmarket, Suffolk where he was able to depict horses and horse-racing scenes, his illustrations also appeared in the weekly 'Black & White Budget' in 1891. At the outbreak of the Boer War in South Africa in 1899, Giles was sent by 'The Graphic' and 'The Daily Graphic' as war correspondent and artist, being attached to French's 1st Cavalry Brigade and witnessed the surrender of General Pieter Cronjé (1836-1911) after the Battle of Pardeberg and was present at the subsequent relief of Kimberley being awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal on 12 February 1903. On 20 January 1904 he was promoted captain in the Duke of York's Own Loyal Suffolk Hussars and the Artists’ Rifle Corps. Giles contributed to the pictorial record of the Boer War with works on display in museums in both South Africa and in England. His sporting works include ‘The Finish of the Derby 1893’, painted for Mrs McAlmont who won the Derby that year with ‘Isinglass’ also ‘The Derby 1901’, ‘The Worksop Handicap, Chesterfield 1894’. He also painted polo, hunting and pig-sticking scenes and illustrated work for 'The Badminton Library' and 'Vanity Fair' and became well-known through the prints that ensued. He exhibited at Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts; Grosvenor Gallery; Walker Art Gallery; Manchester City Art Gallery; Royal Society of British Artists and the Royal Scottish Academy giving his address as the Junior Army & Navy Club, London in 1882 and from Newmarket in 1904. He married at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh on 14 January 1891, Alice Evelyn Barclay (1857-9 August 1934), daughter of George Barclay of 17 Coates Crescent, Edinburgh. In 1907, Giles was an artist, living at Douglas Lodge, Cheveley Road, Newmarket with his wife Alice Evelyn and their daughter Evelyn Ursula (Duffas 2 July 1896-12 October 1977), before finally settling in Scotland. His wife died at 17 Athol Crescent, Edinburgh in 1934, aged 76 and Godfrey Douglas Giles died at 9 Forres Street, Edinburgh on 1 February 1941, aged 83.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from c/o Messrs. Conway and Co., 9 Charlotte Street, West London
1884 146 A Study of Palms Cairo
from 11d Oxford and Cambridge Mansions, Chelsea
1885 1068 The 65th Regiment at the Battle of Tamaai, Soudan Campaign 1884
from Bolton Studios, Redcliffe Road, Southwest London
1886 960 Charge of 19th Hussars at El-Teb, Soudan, 1884
from Tower House, Tite Street, Chelsea
1887 486 An Incident at the Battle of Tamaai, Eastern Soudan, 1884
from 14 Trafalgar Studios, Manresa Road, Chelsea
1888 167 The 'Feed' in a Horse Artillery Troop Stable

Works by This Artist