Somme Valley near Villers-Bretonneux
|Title||Somme Valley near Villers-Bretonneux|
|Place made||France: Picardie, Somme|
|Medium||watercolour over pencil, heightened with white on paper|
|Measurement||sheet: 37.8 x 60.6 cm; image: 37.8 x 60.6 cm|
Watercolour sketch depicting a view of the Somme Valley near Villers-Bretonneux. There are three figures in the centre of the image and an unhitched wagon to their left with a grove of trees behind the wagon. There is a vast expanse of plain and in the background is what appears to be a wood. Will Longstaff was born in Ballarat, Victoria in 1879. From 1900 to 1901, he served with the South African Light Horse in the Boer War. Following his return to Victoria, he taught art privately with Leslie Wilkie at Eltham. He enlisted with the Remounts in October 1915 and served in the Middle East and France before being invalided to England in October 1917. While serving in Egypt, he made pictorial records of the ANZAC Mounted Division and the Desert Column. He then served in England with the B Sub-Depot, Westham. In 1918, he was trained in camouflage work in London with Frank Crozier, J. S. MacDonald and James Scott, and he was subsequently appointed as an Official War Artist working as officer in charge of camouflage for the 2nd Division AIF in France.