The charge of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade at the Nek, 7 August 1915

Units
Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli, Anzac Area (Gallipoli), Nek (Gallipoli)
Accession Number ART07965
Collection type Art
Measurement framed: 179.5 x 333.2 cm x 10.5 cm
Object type Painting
Physical description oil on canvas
Location Main Bld: First World War Gallery: The Anzac Story: Gallipoli
Maker Lambert, George
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Date made 1924
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copyright

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Description

On 7 August 1915 the Australians and Turks faced each other over a narrow strip of open ground on Gallipoli; the Australians were met with a torrent of gunfire and four out of five who took part in the assault were killed or wounded. In its futility, if not for its scale, this charge was one of the tragedies of the First World War. The attack was made against a small section of the Turkish line at Gallipoli. Through an error in timing, the preliminary bombardment of the enemy lines ceased seven minutes before the assault, allowing the Turks plenty of time to prepare for the Australians. The fighting was over within an hour. More than 300 Australians died in this brief, savage encounter, and it does not seem that the charge caused the death of a single Turk. The action is best known through its depiction in the film Gallipoli (1981). The dead were not buried until after the war. In this painting George Lambert (1873-1930) includes a kneeling, hatless figure, centre right, facing away from the direction of the attack. The diagonal lines in the work converge on this figure, giving it prominence. The figure symbolises the sacrifice of young life in the futile attack, and the bullet wound in the man's right hand recalls the stigmata of Christ. In 1920 the Memorial commissioned Lambert to produce this large painting along with 'Anzac, the Landing 1915'. These are two of the most dramatic of Lambert's war paintings, and among the best known works in the Memorial's collection.