Pioneer patrol passing through a native village at Tanjongg, Rancharancha, Labuan

Place Asia: Malaysia, Labuan
Accession Number ART23237
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 37.9 x 41.2 cm
Object type Drawing
Physical description pen and brush and brown ink on paper
Maker Friend, Donald
Place made Malaysia: Labuan
Date made 1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Depict a group of unidentified Australian Pioneer Unit on patrol in native village, Labuan. The Australian Pioneer Unit was part of the 2/1st Australian Infantry Battalion. In 1942, Donald Friend enlisting with the AIF, was posted as a gunner to the artillery unit near Albury. In 1945, Friend was selected for appointment as official war artist. He travelled to Morotai, Labuan and Balikpapan, recording sights which confronted him and drawing in particular on the expressive potential of human form. Friend was extraordinarily prolific, producing 53 paintings and 143 drawings for the Memorial.

On 10 July 1945 Friend noted in his Diary; 'The most delightful day I've had on Labuan. One Capt. Gibbon asked me at breakfast if I'd like a trip over to Tanjung Hamilton [Tanjongg] in a duck...ashore, a hundred yards or so inland, the battery had its tents and thatched palm shelters and fantastic machines. A lovely location. Just over the brow of the hill a very complete little fishing village lay among the palms at the water's edge'.

Order a copy

Related information