Company awaiting relief, the Caterpillar, near Ville-sur-Ancre

Place Europe: France
Accession Number ART02250.002
Collection type Art
Measurement mount: 75.8 x 64.4 cm; image: 56.6 x 46.2 cm
Object type Print
Physical description lithograph on paper
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 a number of soldiers in uniform, wearing helmets, resting on the road side, awaiting relief. The 'caterpillar' in the title refers to the name of a sunken road south of Ville. Dyson inspected Ville-sur-Ancre with his friend Wilkins, which the A.I.F. captured on 19 May 1917. The drawing for this lithograph was accompanied by the following comments by Dyson; 'In the Caterpillar, near Ville-sur-Ancre the day after passing through the village, while this drawing was being made Capt Wilkins had crept out of the Caterpillar and through crops at the top, drawing down, through the moving of the crops, a sustained burst of machine gun fire which lasted long enough for me to do this drawing'. 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.