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Category: Art

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George Lambert who landed at Gallipoli as a War Artist

Click to enlarge The Landing at ANZAC.
Click to enlarge 3rd Australian Light Horse Regiment (dismounted) at the battle of the Nek.

1924. Oil on canvas 152.5 x 305.7 cm (AWM 7965)

Turkish trench on Johnston's Jolly, with posed 'corpse' in front. The 'corpse' is 1269 Trooper William Henry Spruce, 7 Light Horse Regiment, wearing tunic, slouch hat, trousers and boots, with rifle nearby, lying prone during the Gallipoli campaign. The work is described in the artist's rough catalogue entry for GAL 19 as 'Study for dead trooper and detail of Turkish Trench, ground and scrub, Gallipoli'.
 The origin of the title 'Pro Patria' is unknown. Lambert painted the work in two sessions. On 23 February 1919 he wrote: 'The weather improved on this morning and with my light horseman I footed it to a very interesting Turkish trench on a hill called 'Johnson's Jollie [sic]' and there did quite a good correct study of Spruce, the light horseman, as a stiff. It was quite exciting in that I had the right kind of man in right clothes and right ground. In addition to correct surroundings & light I may mention the equipment - webbing equipment. In fact everything right. A four hours' stretch and worth it!' (George Lambert to Amy Lambert, 23 February 1919; Lambert 1938, p. 107); and on 4 March 1919: 'after Mungaree I went over to Johnston's Jollie [sic] & finished right out the sketch I began a week ago of Spruce posing for a stiff. (George Lambert to Amy Lambert, 4 March 1919; Lambert 1938, p. 111). AWM image and text
Portrait of the renowned Australian poet "Banjo" Paterson who was in charge of the Australian Light Horse Remount Unit in Moascar when Lambert arrived there in 1918. Lambert had illustrated Paterson's poems for 'The Bulletin', an Australian magazine. 

He gave up law to become a journalist, and went to South Africa to report on the Boer War. When World War I broke out he sought work as a war correspondent, but failed to gain it. 

He then went to work driving an ambulance in France, and later became a Remount Officer with the Australian forces then in Egypt. AWM image & text


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