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Rick Hampson, an ex-aircraft engineer, left The Royal Navy 13 years ago and now works as a Senior Instructional Officer in the MOD.

After watching Bob Ross on BBC2’s ‘The Joy of painting’, he took up the paint brush in his spare time. He started using oils on canvas but wanted to paint something bigger. The fence running alongside his house was the obvious choice.

But what to paint? Being ex-military, he thought about the D Day landings and had always loved the silhouette of the ’Lonely Soldier’.

Not a fan of waste, her took all his leftover paints out of the shed and started on his own version against a backdrop of fields of poppies and blue sky.

The response from locals was fantastic. On the way to school, kids would ask him what he was painting that day. Rick would keep it a secret so they could look forward to their journey home to see what had transpired.

He said: “It’s great that they took such an interest and could talk about it, it was educational for them. Everyone has been very complimentary. I even got a standing ovation at the pub!”

Local resident, Sarah Don said: “My kids loved it and were so excited to see it coming on bit by bit.”