Painting of John Grant VC

Second Lieutenant John G Grant, VC, painted by Archibald Frank Nicoll in 1920. Grant’s Victoria Cross (VC) was the last awarded to a member of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force for valour during the First World War. He received it for destroying several German machine-gun positions near Bapaume, France on 1 September 1918 (see citation here).

See film of the civic reception of John Grant when he returned to New Zealand in 1919 (NZ On Screen).

About the artist

Christchurch-born Archibald Frank Nicoll (1886–1953) was one of New Zealand’s leading portrait painters of the 1920s and 1930s. He studied at the Canterbury School of Art before taking up a teaching position at Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 1908. Following further study in Britain, Nicoll returned to New Zealand in 1914 to join the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. After the war, he served as Director of the Canterbury College School of Art from 1920 to 1928. During this period he was commissioned to paint the portraits of two Victoria Cross recipients, Henry Laurent and John Grant.

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