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poppyAustralian WW1 ANZACs

Without wanting to diminish or devalue the sacrifice of thousands of individual men and women whom served within the armed forces of World War One - this collection highlights some startling and haunting individual portraits, some named, some un-named - they are some one's relative or friend" Lest We Forget".




ned kellyNed Kelly

Sir Sidney Nolan's stylised depiction of the bushranger Ned Kelly is part of a series of 27 Ned Kellys painted by Nolan in 1946-47. The series of paintings (25 of the 27) were gifted to the National Gallery of Australia in 1977.

Ned Kelly (1854-1880) was an Australian bushranger of Irish descent. Coming from poor selector family, Kelly's life of crime started in 1870 with horse stealing. Along with his brother Dan and two other associates, he committed bank robberies and murder (of policemen) in Euroa and Jerilderie (Victoria). He is famous for dressing in homemade suits of metal armour and during a violent confrontation at Glenrowan was captured in Jun 1880. He was executed in Nov 1880 and his final words are reported to have been "such is life".

Ned Kelly's armour, death mask, family photographs and other historical materials can be found at the State Library of Victoria.

The original enamel painting, of 90.8cm x 121.5cm in size, can be viewed at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

(click on the image for a larger version)

11th Battalion AIF Cheops Pyramid Egypt

The 11th Battalion A.I.F, Cheops Pyramid, Egypt 1915

The 11th Battalion was an Australian Army battalion that was among the first infantry units raised during World War I for the First Australian Imperial Force.

It was the first battalion recruited in Western Australia, and following a brief training period in Perth, the battalion sailed to Egypt where it undertook four months of intensive training.

In April 1915 it took part in the invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula, landing at Anzac Cove.

This photo of 703 men of the Battalion was taken on 10 January 1915. "After Church this morning the whole Battalion was marched up to the Pyramid (Old Cheops) and we had a photo took or at least several of them", the diary of Captain Barnes.

There are a number of myths surrounding this photo, including there being a dead soldier held up by his mates, all of the men with crossed arms are married, a group of men with linked arms are father and sons.

Details on these myths and the project that is working towards identifying the soldiers can be found at the Western Australian Genealogical Society.


Down on His Luck

Down on His Luck, by Frederick McCubbin 1889

Down on His Luck was painted by Australian painter Frederick McCubbin in 1889. Frederick McCubbin was a member of The Heidelberg School, an Australian art movement (also known as Australian Impressionism) of the late 19th century.

The painting shows a disheartened swagman, sitting by a campfire sadly brooding over his misfortune. According to an 1889 review, "The face tells of hardships, keen and blighting in their influence, but there is a nonchalant and slightly cynical expression, which proclaims the absence of all self-pity."

A swagman is an old word describing transient temporary workers, who travelled by foot from farm to farm carrying their bedroll and possessions rolled up in a "swag". Particularly common during the depression years of the 1890s and the 1930s, swagmen would seek work in the farms and the towns they travelled through, and in many cases the farmers, if no permanent work was available, would provide food and shelter in return for some menial task.

The original oil painting, of 114.5cm x 152.8cm in size, can be viewed at the Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth.

(click on the image for a larger version)