Back at the waggon lines after Polygon Wood

Accession Number ART02270
Collection type Art
Measurement sheet: 49.9 x 65 cm; image: 49.9 x 65 cm
Object type Work on paper
Physical description brush and ink, charcoal, pencil on paper
Place made Belgium: Flanders, West-Vlaanderen, Ypres, Zonnebeke, Polygon Wood
Date made September 1917
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Depicts men of either 1st or 2nd Division, Australian Infantry, at waggon lines behind the Front, eating, resting and being served food in a war damaged landscape. Discarded webbing with a bayonet and entrenching tools are depicted in the foreground. This images was one of several by Dyson that reflected his appreciation of the basic importance to the soldiers of food and he noted of the work; 'The cooks had worked with an energy that is explained by the fact that love and kindness are best expressed in the primitive world by food...[The returning men] were weary to exhaustion, eager for food and for rest, but for a while content with the negative joys of being merely out of it'.

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.