ID number ART02876
Title Wireless station, St Gratien
Collection Art
Object type Drawing
Maker Leist, Fred (Artist)
Place made France
Date made 1918
Medium charcoal and crayon with pencil, watercolour, gouache and coloured pastel on paper
Measurement sheet: 43.6 x 59.5 cm (irreg.); image: 35.6 x 45.6 cm

Description

Depicts the wireless station at St Gratien. Ensconsed in a temporary communication station in the chateau at St Gratien, Australian Head Quarters, two Australian soldiers seated on crates wearing headphones with telegraphic / wireless sets. These soldiers can be identified as signallers from the Royal Australian Engineers because they wear the distinctive blue and white arm band.

Frederick Leist was a painter, illustrator and teacher. He studied at the Sydney Art School and the Art School of New South Wales from c.1894-95. During the 1890s he worked as an illustrator for the 'Bulletin' and 'Sydney Mail' and trained as a furniture designer with the David Jones department store. In 1908 he went to England and became an artist with the London 'Graphic' while exhibiting his art work at the Royal Academy in 1911. He worked for the British War Office between 1915 and 1916 and worked for His Majesty's Stationary Office designing posters for First World War recruitment. Leist was appointed an official war artist in September 1917, attached to the 5th Division AIF and worked twice in France between September to December 1917 and from June to August 1918. His commission was terminated in 1920.