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Frank Harding was born in Werrimull, Victoria and educated in Eaglehawk and Redesdale.
After leaving school in 1949 he worked with a shearing team for some years before joining the South Australian Police Force where he served as a uniformed officer and later as a Detective with the CIB. Frank resigned from the Police Force in 1975 after 19 years of service.
Frank and his wife Nan were proprietors of The Folklore Galley in Renmark, South Australia. After he resigned from the Police Force, Frank held numerous one-man exhibitions throughout Australia and has also exhibited in England and the USA.
Frank had a great interest in history, in particular Australian History, as a result of research and paintings covering the Colonial bush-ranging period he was made a Fellow of the Australian Institute of History and Art.
His series of aircraft paintings was compiled as a dedication to all the young Australians that served in the RAAF during World War 2. Each painting depicts an actual event that the pilot concerned was involved in and is constructed as dictated by the pilot.
The collection "They flew for the King" is possibly the most unique collection of aviation paintings ever compiled, owing to the fact that each painting has been signed by the pilot to show that it is an authentic event. There are more than 34 paintings in this collection alone. Each has its own story to tell. A visit to the Gallery is a particularly rewarding experience.
Frank once described his collection as a "Thank You" to all those young men that helped keep this wonderful country free.
The late Frank Harding
NATIONAL SERVICE MEDAL.
FELLOW OF THE AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF HISTORY AND ART.
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE.
MEMBER OF THE AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY OF AVIATION ARTISTS.
WINNER OF THE 1989 RAAF HERITAGE AWARD.
Nicky Barr - "The First Kill"
Arthur Dawkins - "Tarp and Razor Blades"
Brian Eaton - "Tank Attack"
Frank Fischer - "Nine to One"
Bobby Gibbes - "Desert Rescue"
Bobby Gibbes - "Two-up"
Alan Rawlinson - "Gallant Gladiator"
Ken Watts & Wally Hogg - "Tally Ho"
(All images are COPYRIGHT and may only be reproduced with the permission of Nan Harding.)
The Frank Harding Gallery is in Renmark, South Australia. Travelling groups are especially welcome. Here you can make an appointment for Nan Harding, Frank's widow, to show you through her family's most magnificent collection of Frank's artistry on display in their Folklore Gallery.
(Ph: (08) 8586 6972.)
You will see the many glorious paintings including those shown above, illustrating some of the more unusual events and accomplishments achieved by 3 Squadron's pilots, and Australians from other Squadrons, flying their aircraft during WW2. Many of these paintings have been reproduced in the collector's edition of "They Flew For The King" (a few copies of which are still available from Nan at Aust $125 each - write to Box 16, Renmark, S.A., 5341). As well the Gallery houses hundreds of Frank's distinctive and talented paintings and illustrations which artistically describe life in early Australia with many artifacts and mementos collected by the Hardings also on display. Here are a few photos of this unique Gallery:
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