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New acquisition

Posted on: 4th December 2014 By: Catherine Newley

In the last couple of weeks of November, we had the chance to display a new acquisition to the museum's collections: a statue of Thomas Watters. 

Thomas lived in St Albans for 73 years, although he was originally from Scotland. When the Spanish Civil War erupted in 1936, he decided to put his skills as a bus driver to good use and volunteered as an ambulance driver in Spain, often helping to evacuate those stuck amidst the fighting. Unlike many others who went to Spain to join one of the opposing sides, Thomas remained neutral throughout and never took up a weapon. In 1938, he was awarded the O.B.E. for his service in providing humanitarian aid. In 1939, he moved to St Albans and began working for Handley Page in Hatfield. He remained in the aeronautical industry for the rest of his working life and lived, until his death in 2012, in St Albans.

Frank Casey, a local artist and fellow Scot, spent time with him in the last years of his life interviewing and studying him in order to write his biography and create a memorial statue to honour him. We're really pleased that this lasting tribute to Thomas is now part of our collection.