January 5, 2009

Appendix D: Sketch Artist Jan Chevallier

KNIL Welfare Service mascot Wimpie Welfare (a.k.a. Neeltje NIWIN)
Created circa 1946 by J. Chevallier
Han Samethini Collection

Among Han Samethini's colleagues in the army Welfare Service was the sketch artist Jan Chevallier. Some of his work has appeared on Dutch web sites devoted to the 1945-1949 colonial war in Indonesia.[1] Regrettably these sources provide no information about the man himself, not even his first name.

Below are some sketches by Chevallier of his POW experiences, followed by illustrations he made for Welfare publications and materials.


Scenes from POW Camps in the Moluccas

During World War II Chevallier was a POW in the Netherlands East Indies. He worked as a slave laborer at Liang, Haruku, and Amahei camps in the Moluccas. His drawings of these places depict suffering and privations as terrible as those endured by prisoners on the Burma Railway.


Barracks at Liang
De 1000 man van Amahei

De 1000 man van Amahei


De 1000 man van Amahei

Mori and Kasayama
A pair of sadistic guards nicknamed "Blood and Slime" by the POWs
Mori is the man on the right
De 1000 man van Amahei


Dr. Stibbe
"Tireless fighter against the infamous clothing lice"
De 1000 man van Amahei

Japanese airfield built by forced labor
De 1000 man van Amahei

Pulling alang-alang (kunai grass) by hand
De 1000 man van Amahei

Illustrations for the Welfare Service
Circa 1946-1949

Chevallier's illustrations for the army Welfare Service are generally upbeat and humorous. Most prominent among his creations is the iconic Wimpie Welfare, a grinning, cockeyed boy in soldier's uniform. Used initially in the East Indies, Wimpie was also adopted as the logo for the Holland-based NIWIN (Nationale Inspanning Welzijnverzorging Indie) and called Neeltje NIWIN.

"Follow me to our boys overseas!"
Wimpie hauls a load of entertainment from Holland to cheer up the troops.
The two pairs of legs and the guitar symbolize the Dutch female singing duo
"Two Happy Days" (see photo below)

"Two Happy Days"
Han Samethini Collection

Notice in the army publication Klewang
advertising Christmas packages, beer,
cigarettes, chocolate, and other rations
Het Vergeten Leger

Vinyl disc record jacket
"Voices from the Netherlands"

Het Vergeten Leger

"De Eerste Stap in Indie"
(First Step in the Indies)

An illustrated booklet for Dutch soldiers about the basics of life in Indonesia.

Booklet Cover

Purpose of this illustration is unknown.
Maximum fill level for a liquid propane tank?


Where to find the Batavia and Bandung stations on the radio dial

Indonesian woman cooking in a wok

A visual guide to local fruits: mango, mangosteen,
papaya, salak (snake fruit), orange


In the pasar (street market) prices are not fixed.
Soldiers wanting good value for their money must bargain


A warung (eating stall)

Sate (skewered meat)



[1] Het Vergeten Leger (The Forgotten Army), Sobats (Pals) and De 1000 man van Amahei (The 1000 Men of Amahei)

No comments: