A portrait of my father in WW2 RAF uniform. Having already completed the RSN certificate in the required materials, for this project I chose a different effect by recreating the sepia of the original photo using a cream linen and dark brown threads.

Edward Pankhurst

1507190 L.A.C

A Flight 161 Sqdn

RAF Station Tempsford




My father’s rank was Leading Aircraftman (air mechanic) at RAF Tempsford (shown), in the highly secretive 161 Squadron. He maintained the Lysander planes used to drop and collect spies and equipment from Nazi-occupied Europe.

I’ve reflected this secrecy by embedding ‘subliminal messages’ via the blackwork patterns chosen, and in some cases individually designed. His rank insignia was a propeller (shown), and his tools included spanners. Both are used as background. There is also a Union Jack visible in the jacket lapels.


This work is in honour of my father’s service, and to personalise it finally, I’ve used an interlocked ’T’ for Ted pattern for the cap,


Blackwork embroidery portrait of my father

All original text and images may not be copied, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or published via any media anywhere without my express permission and subsequently carrying my credit.

© Copyright Art of Stitch, hand embroidery by Kate Pankhurst