|Place||Oceania: Pacific Islands, Solomon Islands, Bougainville, South Bougainville, Buin Road|
|Measurement||Framed: 82.1 cm x 66.8 cm; Unframed: 60.8 cm x 45.2 cm|
|Physical description||oil on canvas on wood panel|
|Place made||Pacific Islands: Solomon Islands, Bougainville|
Second World War, 1939-1945
Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Bren Gunner (Sergeant Reginald Rattey) VC
A portrait of Sergeant Reginald Roy Rattey VC, NX102964, A Company, 25th Battalion Australian Military Force holding a Bren gun. Corporal Rattey was an exceptional rather than a typical member of the 25th Battalion, aged twenty seven at the time when this was painted. He was well developed and mature, and (as noted by the artist) when he would sling his Bren on his shoulder, he would quite naturally assume a look of 'grim determination'. At the time when the portrait was made, Sergeant Rattey had just returned from a long period of fighting. As depicted, his colour was not good and beads of perspiration form on his upper lip.
Sergeant Rattey was awarded the Victoria Cross for his exceptional bravery and a complete disregard for his own life when he silenced Japanese fire from automatic weapons in bunkers. The bunkers were dominating all lines of approach to a strongly held position astride Buin Road, South Bougainville, and holding up the Company's advance.