Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This image is licensed under CC BY-NC

ID number ART03024
Title Dugouts near Villers Bretonneux
Collection Art
Object type Painting
Maker Longstaff, Will (Artist)
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made 1918-1919
Medium oil on canvas
Measurement framed: 98.8 x 152 cm; unframed: 75.7 x 127.2 cm


Depicts a group of Australian soldiers, and one American soldier, standing in front of dugouts near Villers Bretonneux in France, during the First World War. This painting was previously titled 'Group of diggers and one Yank standing in front of dugouts in bank'. Will Longstaff (1879-1953) saw active service from 1900 to 1901with the South African Light Horse in the Boer War. He enlisted in the Remounts in 1915, serving 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. In 1918 he trained in camouflage work in London in the company of fellow artists Frank Crozier, J.S. McDonald and James Scott and was subsequently appointed as an official war artist working as Officer in Charge of Camouflage for the 2nd Division AIF in France. Following the War, he was among the artists who worked for the Australian War Records at the St. John's Wood Studio in London, his commission being terminated in 1920.