Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean was Australia's official First World War correspondent. After joining the Australian Imperial Force at Gallipoli, and then witnessing the carnage on the Western Front, he conceived of a memorial that would commemorate those who had been killed. The Australian War Memorial was opened on 11 November 1941, just before publication of the final volume of the official history of the First World War. By then the Second World War was underway.
After his death in 1968, the Memorial commissioned a bust of Charles Bean “to be placed in a gallery to be set apart for visitors’ use as a writing and rest room”.
John Stuart Dowie AM was commissioned to produce the work. He requested numerous photographs from Bean’s widow to achieve the best possible likeness for this life-size bust.