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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Leslie Cubitt Bevis (1892–1984)

Sculptor and teacher. He was born in Maidstone, Kent, and died in Croydon. In the First World War, he joined the 28th London Regiment (Artists’ Rifles) as a private; in July 1917, he was commissioned as a temporary lieutenant in the 2nd Highland Light Infantry and was subsequently wounded. In the Second World War, he was briefly an officer in the RAF, before transferring to the army where he specialised in camouflage in the Western Desert of North Africa. Between the wars, he taught at Bedford School and following the second, at several art schools, including Camberwell, Wimbledon and St Martin’s. For some years from 1957, he occupied a studio in the Buddhist Society building at 58 Eccleston Square, Pimlico, although according to his son he was never a Buddhist, simply ‘straight Church of England’. Bevis showed (mainly portrait heads and busts) at the RA from 1946 to 1966. His bust of Hugh Gaitskell, 1963, is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery and his statue of Thomas More, 1967–69, outside Chelsea Old Church, Cheyne Walk.

Bibliography: D. Buckman, Artists in Britain since 1945 (2 vols: A–L, M–Z), Bristol, 2006; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 29–32; Mapping Sculpture.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022

Bevis, Leslie Cubitt

Leslie Cubitt Bevis with his maquette of Sir Thomas More, photo by Paul Armiger, c.1967 (CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)