Alfred Théodore Joseph Bastien

Service file

Alfred Théodore Joseph Bastien (1873–1955) was a Belgian artist, academic and soldier. Born in Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium, he studied in Ghent, and then in Paris where he was living when the First World War began. After the fall of Antwerp in October 1914, Bastien fled to Britain where, at the age of 43, he volunteered for the Belgian Army. He was transferred to the ‘Section  Artistique’ and from 1915 onward sketched the scenes on the Belgian lines at the Yser River. In 1917, acting on the personal request of Lord Beaverbrook, he was seconded to the Canadian Army until September 1918. As a war artist, attached to the 22nd Battalion, Bastien produced works of art relating specifically to the Canadian war experience. This body of work is part of the Lord Beaverbrook art collection at the Canadian War Museum. Bastien continued to work as an artist after the war. Among many other works, he produced his grand panorama of the Yser Front, a project he had planned since 1914. He joined the faculty of the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels as a professor in 1927 and remained there until 1945, serving as director for three terms. Alfred T.J. Bastien died on June 7, 1955 in Uccle, Belgium.

Service Record Details

(Bastien did not sign traditional Attestation Papers, he signed an Officers’ Declaration Paper)

Sketch of Georges Phileas Vanier by Alfred Bastien

Date of Birth: September 16, 1873 (Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium)

Date of Attestation: May 27, 1918 (London, England)

Age at Enlistment: 45 years old

Prior Military Service: Two years in the Belgian Army

Height: 5 feet, 10 inches

Weight>: 170 lbs

Description: Varicosity of left leg. Roman Catholic.

Home Address: 5 Oakley Crescent, Chelsea, London and 268 Chaussé de Vleurgat, Brussels, Belgium

Trade: Artist (Painter)

Married: Yes

Next of Kin: Wife, Madame Bastien, living at 10 Rouge Cloitre, Auderghem, Belgium

Theatre of War: France

Casualties/Medical History

  • Medical officers note a varicosity of the left leg. No other medical issues are mentioned in Bastien’s file.

Interesting Details from the Service Record

  • Bastien resigns from the position of Honorary Lieutenant one week after Armistice, November 11, 1918.
  • During the time he was stationed with the 22nd Battalion, Bastien sketched a portrait of Georges Phileas Vanier. Vanier inscribed the sketch and sent it to his father. This portrait now resides in the Library and Archives Canada collection.

The London Gazette

No mentions found.

Military Medals, Honours and Awards (1812–1969)

No mentions found.

Census Records

No records located.

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