Accession Number ART19992
Collection type Art
Measurement framed: 152 x 125.8 cm; unframed: 127 x 101 cm
Object type Painting
Physical description oil on canvas
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made c. 1919-1920
Conflict Period 1910-1919
First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright


This painting is intended to typify an Australian artilleryman in summer 1918 on the Western Front, wearing a slouch hat, trousers and leggings with a bare torso. He stands near the trail of a BL 6 inch 26 cwt howitzer and holds a charge case, with another howitzer and crew in the background of the scene.

George Benson (1886- 1960) studied at the National Gallery School, Melbourne, from 1903 to 1904 and worked with the poster designer, Harry J Weston. He was subsequently engaged in cartoon work and verse illustrations for various magazines including the 'Bulletin', Australian 'Punch' and 'Sporting and Dramatic News'. Benson enlisted in September 1914, with the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade, serving in Egypt and Gallipoli. He served in France in 1916 with the British Expeditionary Force, later undertaking a camouflage course in England and being appointed an official war artist working as Officer in Charge of Camouflage attached to the 4th Division AIF in France in 1918. Following the war he undertook work with the Australian War Records at St. John's Wood in London. Benson returned to Melbourne in 1919 and his commission was terminated in 1920.