|Measurement||sheet: 17.6 x 25.5 cm; image: 15.4 x 22.8 cm|
|Object type||Work on paper|
|Physical description||watercolour on paper|
Kearton, William Frederick
|Date made||c. 1916 - 1918|
First World War, 1914-1918
Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain
This item is in the Public Domain
The ammunition donkey
During the First World War, donkeys were used in the transportation of ammunition to the front. The donkey is often represented as the symbol of stupidity and stubbornness. However, a donkey is notorious for its capacity to secure footing in treacherous terrain. They often scramble with considerable speed among rocks and slippery ground, able to do this with heavy burdens, tirelessly.
This illustration depicts a donkey with a sling over its saddle with three shells on each side. A mounted soldier pulls the reigns of the donkey as it struggles to wade through the muddy terrain. Behind them is another mounted soldier with an ammunition donkey. The billows of smoke in the sky, the aircraft overhead, fencing on the skyline and broken duckboard walk in the foreground suggest they are close to the frontline.