Barbara Tribe (Australian, 1913-2000), 'Flight Lieutenant Allan Triggs',
plaster bust, signed, inscribed and dated 'Barbara Tribe LONDON 1943', restoration to corner of pocket flap and tip of moustache, 52 x 56cm.
Lieutenant Allan William Russell Triggs, MBE, DFC of 172 Squadron RAAF. In August 1943 Lieutenant Triggs was engaged in night patrol duties over the Bay of Biscay when one engine of his Wellington failed and he was forced to ditch in the sea. Owing to Trigg's actions, the crew survived the crash and the next six days at sea until they could be rescued. Trigg's courage and leadership during this ordeal led to the award of the MBE. Later in 1942 and in 1943 Triggs carried out aerial night attacks on submarines, on one occasion returning successfully after an engine had fallen from his aircraft into the sea. For these actions Triggs and his navigator, Colin Badham, received the DFC.
Illustrated in 'Barbara Tribe, Sculptor' by Patricia R.McDonald, page 85.
Triggs and Martin were among the seven airmen who posed for Barbara Tribe, an Australian sculptor who was desperately seeking to maintain her sculptural work in wartime England. The busts were created under difficult conditions and the sculpting had to be squeezed into the evening hours, with the assistance of Air Vice Marshal Henry Wrigley, who arranged for the airmen to sit for her. The busts were executed swiftly and surely over half a dozen two hour sittings. The busts were originally cast in plaster in 1943, however in 1969 Tribe received a letter commissioning her to cast bronzes of Wing Commander Charles Martin and Flight Lieutenant Allan Triggs, as well as The Lord Birdwood of Anzac, for the Australian War Memorial collection. For these she would receive £210 per bust.
Further information relating to the aviators and their operations is available on request.