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Eric Kennington was born in Chelsea, son of Thomas B. Kennington, portrait painter and active member of the New English Art Club. Kennington studied fine art at the Lambeth School of Art and the City and Guilds School, London. His work was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1908.

Kennington is known as an official War Artist. During the First World War he was employed by the War Propaganda Bureau to produce pictures of the Western Front. This resulted in Gassed and Wounded and The Die-Hards, amongst many other paintings, pastels and lithographs. After the war he was commissioned to design several war memorials. During the Second World War he produced many pastel portraits of officers and men in the forces. Kennington died in 1960.