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

ID number ART35261
Title Strange moonlit ghosts
Collection Art
Object type Painting
Artist Comber, Albert
Place made United Kingdom: England
Date made 1945
Medium oil on canvas
Measurement framed: 38.5 x 48.5 cm; unframed: 25.4 x 35.6 cm
On display Main building: World War 2 Gallery: Gallery 1 - Mediterranean


After being shot down in August 1942 over the Gulf of Taranto, Italy, Flight Lieutenant Albert Henry Comber was taken prisoner, eventually an intern of Stalag Luft III. The camp was evacuated in January 1945, and the prisoners were marched out into a cold winter's night. In addition to packs of blankets, food and clothing, Comber also carried a bundle of his artwork. After two days of blizzard winds and sleeping in the snow, he finally discarded the artwork. Comber recalls, "It was a matter of survival - I dropped the paintings in the snow beside the road, relieved to be rid of some of the load, fearful that even so we'd never make it home alive." Comber was emancipated in July, returning to Australia later that year.