Denton Welch started at the Goldsmith School of Art in New Cross in 1933, where he studied for 3 years; among his teachers was the printmaker and graphic designer Edward Bawden. He moved into a house near Greenwich Park where the landlady was Evelyn Sinclair, who became a close lifelong friend. Eric Oliver was introduced to Welch in November 1943 at a time when Oliver, a conscientious objector, was working on the land and Welch was living as a semi-invalid, following a road accident when he was 20, near Hadlow, in Kent. The intensity of Welch's emotions was not returned, for on his own admission Oliver was incapable of love ("You must never take me seriously," he wrote in the only letter of his to Welch which survives), but, once they had sorted out the imbalance in their relationship, Oliver moved in with him, and as Welch's physical condition deteriorated Oliver nursed him with practical expertise. When Welch died on December 30, 1948, in Oliver's arms, the manuscript of his third and finest novel, A Voice Through a Cloud, lay by the bed, and Oliver was instrumental in John Lehmann’s publishing it in 1950, with a foreword signed by Oliver but probably written by Lehmann.