The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Search the Collection

(Evelyn Michael) Thomas Howell

(1913-2008), Air Vice-Marshal

Sitter in 1 portrait

Tell us More

 Like voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Make a donation Close

List Thumbnail

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

Terry Holland

03 January 2022, 15:37

In 1962 ,When I rejoined the RAF I was posted to RAF Henlow and then was sent to work on the staff of the (then Air Commodore E M T Howell at Hitchin, Herts. as chef . They were the nicest family you could have wished to work for. I was there until Autumn 1964 when I was requested to produce the wedding cake for his daughter Mary. The wedding took place at The RAF church of St. Clement Danes in London and I was privileged to be invited to both the wedding and the reception in the City afterwards . This I now realise was 60 years ago and brings back happy memories. Terry Holland

Philippa Howell

23 April 2018, 14:11

I think he returned from Egypt early in 1938, not late in 1938. He married our mother Helen in Cairo in December 1937, and they returned to England together. Jennifer his eldest daughter was born in Louth, Lincolnshire in September 1938.

Helen M Gage

23 April 2018, 13:51

His fellow prisoners in Changi also included the author, James Clavell, whose novel King Rat vividly describes my father's time in Changi. The character Peter Marlowe is largely based on my father.

Michael William Davis Howell (EMTH's elder son)

21 April 2018, 12:19

The above links will give you his obituaries in the Times and Daily Telegraph. The tenth anniversary of his death is on the 5th May in two weeks' time.

To note the incorrect Telegraph date, he was born on 11 September 1913. Other corrections come from his wartime diary which suggest he did not stay as long out of enemy hands as the obituary writers suggest. He gave himself up rather quickly after his Australian colleagues were killed or captured. His diary does not mention Bangka island but rather months spent in a Java prison camp in Bandung, Java. His fellow prisoners included Laurens van der Post.

I know this because the diary was transcribed by my elder sister, Mary, who was given the diary by our mother Helen before she died.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.


Our channel

View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.

Sit back and watch

Artist and sitter interviews

Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.

Explore behind the scenes

Sleeping Awake

Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.

Hear our story