Tommies staging in the tunnels (In the Tunnel- Hill 60)

Accession Number ART02246.001
Collection type Art
Measurement mount: 55.6 x 70.9 cm; image: 42.2 x 54 cm
Object type Print
Physical description lithograph on paper
Maker Vincent, Day, Brooks and Sons
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made 1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Depicts an image of soldiers from the British Army, possibly the Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) sleeping in tunnels. The 'Vine Street' sign on wall refers to street of that name in London. The events depicted occurred at Hill 60, near Ypres, Belgium in Aug 1917 but Dyson's lithograph was printed in 1918. Of this lithograph Dyson wrote; 'The circumstances were bearable to what they would be in the line, but fatigue even here, to the unlucky forced to spend a night in the bad spots in the tunnels, is a circumstance the aching misery of which cannot be judged by any standard with which our average civilian is conversant...The tragic fact is that the incomparable heroisms of this winter warfare bring no compensations to the heroes'. When published in 'Australia at War' in 1918 this image was accompanied by the following text; '...the companies staging in the tunnels were resting in every conceivable attitude of weariness in slush that was everywhere, and everywhere rising higher '. Will Dyson was the first Australian official war artist to visit the front during the First World War, travelling to France in December 1916, remaining there until May 1917, making records of the Australian involvement in the war. He was formally appointed as an official war artist, attached to the AIF, in May 1917, working in France and London throughout the war. His commission was terminated in March 1920.

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