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ART26547

Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial,
Creative Commons License This image is licensed under CC BY-NC

ID number ART26547
Title Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Galleghan
Collection Art
Object type Painting
Artist Griffin, Murray
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Date made 1945
Medium oil on canvas
Measurement Overall: 83 x 53 cm

Description

Lieutenant Colonel Frederick G Galleghan, DSO, ED, commanding officer of the 2/30th Battalion of the 8th Division. 'Black Jack', as he was known, was given command of the AIF prisoners in August 1942 when senior officers, including (temporary) Major-General Cecil Callaghan who was in charge of AIF at this stage, were removed from Changi by the Japanese. The original officer in charge of the 8th Division, Lieutenant General Henry Gordon Bennett, had escaped from Singapore just after the city fell in February 1942, leaving command to Callaghan, and an enquiry after the war found he was not justified in leaving Singapore.
Galleghan was given the name 'Black Jack' for his complexion, dark hair, and brown eyes. He was a stern figure with a natural air of authority that brooked no dissent. Some officers claimed to have feared Galleghan more than they did the Japanese. Nevertheless he is said to have been a respected leader who understood that his men's survival depended on their morale, which he maintained through the imposition of military discipline.