Sausage Valley

Accession Number ART00239
Collection type Art
Measurement Framed: 137 cm x 221 cm x 12.5 cm; Unframed: 107 cm x 190 cm
Object type Painting
Physical description oil on canvas
Maker Crozier, Frank
Place made Australia
Date made 1919
Conflict Period 1910-1919
First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Depicts a view of the 1st and 2nd Australian Divisions in Sausage Valley, Pozieres, behind the front line on the Western Front, with soldiers, horses, medical supplies and artillery, while explosions can be seen on the horizon. Frank Crozier (1883-1948) worked as a decorator and clerk and attended the National Gallery of Victoria School in Melbourne from 1905 to 1907. In March 1915 he enlisted with the 22nd Battalion AIF, serving in Egypt and at Gallipoli. In France he served under Brigadier- General Gellibrand who asked Crozier to make sketches of the Battle of Pozieres. He was trained in camouflage work in London in 1918 and in September the same year was appointed Official War Artist. Following the First World War he worked for the Australian War Records Section in London. He returned to Australia in 1919 and his commission was terminated in 1920. In 1936 he was appointed to the Australian War Memorial for 6 months and during the Second World War he worked in a munitions factory at Maribyrnong in Victoria. Crozier enlisted on 17 March 1915 with the 22nd Battalion AIF. From January 1917 he served in France and did sketches of the Battle of Pozieres. Crozier had fought at Pozieres and Mouquet Farm (on the Somme) in the summer of 1916, so this work has some basis in personal experience. When reproduced in 'Australian Chivalry' (1933), it was noted; 'Sausage Valley was the scene of desperate fighting in the opening stages of the Somme battle in 1916, and became famous as the main avenue of communications with the Australian zone during the fighting at Pozieres, when it was regarded as one of the busiest thoroughfares on the whole Western Front. Such was the traffic that by July 1916 the valley had lost its covering of grass and become criss-crossed by hundreds of dusty tracks, along which constantly moved troops and transport of all kinds; reserve battalions bivouaced in old trenches and shell-holes; there were dumps of ammunition, rations and engineer's stores...and in the shelter of the valley many British and Australian dead were laid to rest'.