Though Time Goes By... by David Rowlands. (GS)
The 50th Anniversary of the SAS 1947-1997. Depicting 21 SAS. The Artists Rifles was raised in London in 1859 as a Volunteer regiment, and comprised professional painters, musicians, actors, architects and others involved in creative endeavours. The unit's badge, designed by William Wyon, shows the heads of the Roman gods Mars and Minerva in profile. It served in the Boer War and the 1st World War, when it suffered higher casualties than those of any other battalion, including 2,003 killed, 3,250 wounded, 533 missing and 286 prisoners of war. Members of the regiment won eight Victoria Crosses, fifty-six Distinguished Service Orders and over a thousand other awards for gallantry. During World War II it was an officer training unit, but was disbanded in 1945. The Special Air Service (SAS) was formed in 1941 by David Stirling as a commando force operating behind enemy lines during the war in North Africa and Europe. It was officially disbanded on 30th November 1946. In 1947 the Artists Rifles was re-raised as the 21st Special Air Service Regiment (Artists Rifles). 21 SAS was active during the Malayan Emergency and in many subsequent conflicts. In 1952, members of the Artists Rifles who had been involved in special operations in Malaya formed 22 SAS. For much of the Cold War the role of 21 SAS was to provide stay-behind parties in the event of a Warsaw Pact invasion of western Europe. This painting was commissioned to mark the first 50 years of the 21st Special Air Service Regiment (Artists Rifles). The scene depicts a meeting, bridging time between SAS soldiers of 1947 and 1997 as they share a brew of tea. The theme is the constant truth that, though times change, the man, in most respects, stays the same. 21st SAS enjoys a long historical affiliation with the Royal Academy, and this painting was unveiled at a cocktail reception there on Friday 6th December 1996, to mark the unit's Golden Jubilee."