'On the wallaby', but still smiling

Accession Number ART19610
Collection type Art
Measurement sheet: 19 x 13.3 cm; image: 14 x 9 cm
Object type Work on paper
Physical description ink, pencil and watercolour on paper
Maker Leist, Fred
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Watercolour and ink sketch depicting an Australian soldier with haversack, billy, and rifle without shirt and smoking pipe. On the end of the rifle is a Turkish soldiers cap and in the background is a sign with 'GALLIPOLI' on it pointing in the opposite direction. Underneath the image is written "ON THE WALLABY, BUT STILL SMILING"; on the wallaby is an Australian term for being on the road or travelling. The Australian soldier is travelling to another battlefield but his spirits are still high. Frederick Leist was a painter, illustrator and teacher. He studied at the Sydney Art School and the Art School of New South Wales from c.1894-95. During the 1890s he worked as an illustrator for the 'Bulletin' and 'Sydney Mail' and trained as a furniture designer with the David Jones department store. In 1908 he went to England and became an artist with the London 'Graphic' while exhibiting his art work at the Royal Academy in 1911. He worked for the British War Office between 1915 and 1916 and worked for His Majesty's Stationary Office designing posters for First World War recruitment. Leist was appointed an official war artist in September 1917, attached to the 5th Division AIF and worked twice in France between September to December 1917 and from June to August 1918. His commission was terminated in 1920.