Combes, Simon (Glenton) 1940-2004

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COMBES, Simon (Glenton) 1940-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born June 20, 1940, in Shaftesbury, Dorset, England; killed in a buffalo charge December 12, 2004, near Nakuru, Kenya. Artist, soldier, and author. Combes was an internationally renowned wildlife artist. Raised on a farm in Kenya, where his father was a farmer, the young Combes loved the wild lands of Africa that would become an integral part of his life. He was educated at the Duke of York School in Nairobi and in 1958 he followed in his father's footsteps and managed a large farm in western Kenya. Entering the Kenya Regiment to fulfill his national service obligations, Combes ended up serving many years in the military. He trained as an officer and was commissioned in the King's African Rifles. Eventually, he became a commander of the air forces in Kenya and saw action in Somalia. He served in the military until 1974, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. While in Somalia, Combes took up a new passion, painting, in 1969. He proved to be remarkably successful at it, and his first exhibition appeared in 1969 at the New Stanley Art Gallery in Nairobi. Although Combes moved back to England in 1978 so that his children could be educated there, he returned regularly to Africa to paint. In 1999, he moved back to Kenya to live permanently. Combes was known for his highly realistic painting style of wildlife. Examples of his work were published in two books: An African Experience: Wildlife Art and Adventure in Kenya (1989) and Great Cats: Stories and Art from a World Traveller (1998). His love of wildlife also extended to charitable work for various conservation organizations, such as the Rhino Rescue Trust and the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. In 1994 he was named the Pacific Rim Wildlife Art Show's Artist of the Year.



Independent (London, England), December 28, 2004, p. 33.

Times (London, England), December 17, 2004, p. 67.