The Dynamo, Hill 60

Collection ID ART02209.013
Collection type Art
Title The Dynamo, Hill 60
Measurement sheet: 52.2 x 78.4 cm; image: 39.8 x 55.4 cm
Object type Print
Maker Dyson, Will
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made 21 June 2017
Copyright AWM copyright

Depicts two Australian miners of the First Australian Tunnelling Company who at Hill 60, near Ypres in Belgium, were involved in tunnelling through sandy dunes with machinery; here a dynamo for electricity generation is used to light the tunnel. This aspect of the 1915-17 underground warfare during the First World War was characterised by months of persistent, silent and difficult labour working in labyrinths of tunnels. Hill 60 was in an area of extensive German mining activity, something the Australian tunnellers had to counter. The Australian miners who worked in the First, Second and Third Tunnelling Companies were, on average, older than most infantrymen and 'marked by a capacity for very fast work and a willingness to take great risks' (Bean, C.E.W., The Australian Imperial Force in France 1917, vol. IV, p.961)

Will Dyson was the first Australian official war artist to visit the front during the First World War, travelling to France in December 1916, remaining there until May 1917, making records of the Australian involvement in the war. He was formally appointed as an official war artist, attached to the AIF, in May 1917, working in France and London throughout the war. His commission was terminated in March 1920.

Related information