Soldiers eating
ID numberART25032
Collection typeArt
TitleSoldiers eating
Measurementoverall: 15.7 cm x 19.4 cm
Object typeDrawing
MakerDargie, William
Place madeNew Guinea: Huon Peninsula, Ramu River Finisterre Ranges Area, Finisterre Ranges
Date madeMarch - May 1944
Physical descriptionwatercolour, pen, ink and wash on paper
CopyrightAWM copyright
DescriptionDrawing of soldiers of the 57/60th Australian Infantry Battalion, squatting down to eat a meal at a forward position beyond Yaula. Dargie noted:
"Given the right conditions, men return by imperceptible degrees to the primitive postures of the race. No one would say that it is characteristic of Australians to squat on their haunches to eat ---- they might sit on a leg, or with their backs to a wall and their legs stretched out in front of them ---- but here in the Finisterres campaign everyone squatted. One one occasion, I saw two infantrymen, a native police boy, and a Japanese who was their prisoner, having a meal together, and all squatting unselfconsciously. This habit has a tendency to last for several days after one has got back to slightly better facilities for eating than those provided in the forward companies.
To me, the sight of these men at a meal suggested a younger and earlier stage of our civilisation, when wars were fought with more primitive weapons than Owen guns and high explosives.
This sketch was done with the forward company just beyond Yaula. The men have their weapons close by them. Our troops have very often caught the enemy unawares at a meal and they realise quite well that he is capable of working the same dodge on them".