Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial licensed copyright

ID number ART28309.002
Title Soldiers and children in Greece
Collection Art
Object type Drawing
Maker Drysdale, Russell (Artist)
Place made Australia
Date made c. 1943
Medium pen and black ink heightened with white on paper
Measurement sheet: 21.7 x 20.2 cm (irreg.)


Illustration for the wartime publication 'The Australian Soldier - A Portrait'. Depicts two Australian soldiers wearing slouch hats talking to three Greek children.

In 1944 Russell Drysdale was commissioned to illustrate the wartime publication 'The Australian Soldier - A Portrait' by John Hetherington. Based on the experience of the 6th Division of the Australian Imperial Forces, the book was an account of these soldiers' experience fighting against the Italians in Libya and later the Germans in Greece. Defeated in battle in Greece, the 6th Division was made to retreat and travel long distances to safety along with the Greek refugees.

Drysdale seldom portrayed any violent physical action to describe the experience of the Sixth Division. In 'Soldiers and children in Greece' he instead focuses on Australian servicemen and Greek child refugees conversing along the road. Commenting on the effect the war was having on the lives of the innocent, the deeply etched line work and heavy shadowing alludes to an ominous future.