Council urged to buy painting of local hero David Kamsler

Basingstoke Gazette: The David Kamsler (Work in progress) painting The David Kamsler (Work in progress) painting

War veteran hopes ‘hero’ painting can be boughtA WAR veteran hopes that Basing-stoke and Deane Borough Council will consider buying a painting of a well-known local hero.

Brighton Hill man David Kamsler MBE posed for the painting in the summer, and it was included in an exhibition in London to commemorate 60 years since a truce was signed in the Korean War.

Now, Roger Jones, chairman of the Surrey and West branch of the British Korean Veterans Association, has called on Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, or any other local organisation or individual, to buy it for posterity.

Mr Jones said he had spoken to Basingstoke MP Maria Miller and borough councillors Mark Ruffell and Ranil Jayawardena about the painting.

Mr Jones, of Archery Fields, Odiham, said: “David is obviously well-known in Basingstoke, and the town has not been short on trying to protect its heritage and its people. I think it would make a fine addition to The Willis Museum.”

Mr Kamsler, 88, who has run The Link charity from his home in Brighton Hill for 23 years, served with the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry on the Korean peninsula in 1953 before being medically discharged for osteoporosis.

The conflict was the first “hot” war of the Cold War, when democratic South Korea and the United Nations fought Communist North Korean and Chinese forces between 1950 and 1953.

Around 100,000 British soldiers, many of them National Servicemen, fought in the war, and 1,000 died.

The painting of Mr Kamsler, by South Korean artist Anna Paik, was included in the exhibition called A Soldier’s Tale: 60 years of memories, and 130 years of friendship.

Entitled David Kamsler (Work in progress), the painting features Mr Kamsler in front of the Baekdoo Mountains, a mountain range on the border between North Korea and China, said to be the spiritual home of the Korean people.

Mr Kamsler told The Gazette: “I am not one for flattery, but out of respect for those who did not come back, buying the painting would be a genuine way of remembering them.”

The conflict was often referred to as the “forgotten war” as it came shortly after the Second World War.


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