Battery Commander's dug-out, Hill 60

Collection ID ART02299.002
Collection type Art
Title Battery Commander's dug-out, Hill 60
Measurement sheet: 52.2 x 78.2 cm; image: 41.6 x 54 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 soldiers in uniform, seated in the interior of a dug-out. The one sitting on the right is probably Major R F Manton, DSO, Commanding of 15 Bty, AFA. A lit candle , tins of food and small shelves can be seen in the interior of the dug out. Hill 60 was visited by Dyson, with Charles Bean , and the location was near Ypres, where the First Australian Tunnelling Company had operated for seven months prior to Messines. At Hill 60 there had been extensive German mining activity for the Australian tunnellers to counter. The Australian activity was involved at Third Ypres. When in France, the photographer Frank Hurley noted of Hill 60; '[It] is the most awful and appalling sight I have ever seen. The exaggerated machinations of hell are here typified. Everywhere the ground is littered with bits of guns, bayonets, shells and men. Way down in one of these mine craters was an awful sight...Oh, the frightfulness of it all...'. 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.