A CANCER patient who found a talent for art following diagnosis has presented a piece of work to inspire medics at the hospital where he was treated.
Bob Martin, 73, from St Helens, underwent radiotherapy at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2010.
Granddad Bob had never taken any interest in art before - he had been a keen climber but when his illness stopped him taking to the hills, he took up painting instead.
Bob visited the hospital to present a painting to staff which he hopes will spur on young doctors and nurses.
The painting shows Captain Noel Chavasse on the battlefield in World War I. The son of the Bishop of Liverpool, Chavasse was a surgeon in Liverpool and was also a talented athlete who ran 400m in the 1908 Olympics.
When war broke out, Chavasse was attached to the
10th Battalion King’s (Liverpool Regiment), known as Liverpool Scottish, and was
the only person to get the VC twice in the Great War.
Bob said: “As an ex-army man Noel Chavasse was one of my heroes. To get the Victoria Cross twice is unprecedented.
“I hope this picture will inspire medical students when they see the bravery of Chavasse.”
Bob’s interest in art was largely sparked by his involvement in the St Helens Cancer Support Group, who meet twice a week.
The retired lorry driver said: “I made a good friend through the group and was helping her move some stuff from her house. She had some old paints and brushes. I thought ‘I might give that a go’ and it just started there.
“The art started as a hobby but it has really helped me and it fills the gap left by hill walking.”
The painting shows Chavasse with the head injury he sustained in Belgium in 1917 that led to his death.
Earlier this year Bob showed his work at The World of Glass, making £260 through sales for The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.
Barney Schofield, director of transformation and innovation, accepted the painting on behalf of The Clatterbridge Centre.
He said: “We’re really grateful to Bob and his colleagues from the St Helens support group for all the support they give to cancer patients and to The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.
“We’re honoured that Bob has donated this original art work and look forward to displaying it in our hospital. Both the subject and the artist are inspirational figures to so many.”
To find out more about The St Helens Cancer Support Group see