An exhibition focusing on a local pacifist who turned his artistic hand to poster design after the war opens next weekend.

Born in 1889 in Dulwich, Walter Spradbery became a dab-hand in watercolous, linocutting and poster designer at Walthamstow Art School.

A stint with the Royal Army Medical Corps during WWI partly took him away from his work but earned the artist a Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery in rescuing injured comrades under intense enemy fire.

After the war, Spradbery was one of several artists commissioned to create art for the Army Medical Section of the new Imperial War Museum display which opened at the Crystal Palace in 1920.

He would later marry Dorothy D'Orsay and settle in Buckhurst Hill, where he established the community association and held opera performances in the garden of his home known as The Wilderness.

From July 21, an exhibition funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund at Epping Forest District Museum will feature Spradbery’s medals, on display for the first time, alongside many of the paintings he made, both during his time in training and on the front line in France.

To commemorate the opening of the exhibition, a day of special activities including a chance to meet Walter Spradbery himself, played by historical interpreter Andrew Ashmore, runs on Saturday, July 21 from 11am to 4pm.

Other events include a historical walk, a talk from the exhibition curator and a celebration event at ‘The Wilderness’ site.

For more information visit or follow @efdmuseum.

The exhibition runs until December 22, from 10am to 4pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and 10am to 5pm on Saturday.