Forward Scout

Place Oceania: Pacific Islands, Solomon Islands, Bougainville
Accession Number ART24085
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 61 x 45.4 cm
Object type Painting
Physical description oil on canvas on hardboard
Maker Abbott, Harold
Ward, Leslie
Place made Pacific Islands: Solomon Islands, Bougainville
Date made 1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Portrait of Private Thomas Hanley, N452848, Forward Scout in 9 Australian Infantry Battalion, his rifle slung across his left shoulder and wearing a green beret. At the time when this portrait was painted, Pte Hanley had been with the battalion for six months, seeing his first action in Bougainville on the Numa Numa trail, and in the Jaba River area. He had distinguished himself for his fearlessness, his quick and accurate shooting, and his bush craft. His previous experience as a horse breaker and kangaroo hunter placed him in good stead for determination and use of the rifle.

In a letter, the artist wrote of Private Hanley: "Private Hanley is barely out of his teens, like many lads here, but in spite of his youthful appearance (with fresh, clean face, showing no hint of care or anxiety even though he has just come out of action only a few days previously ) he has proven himself a grim and deadly opponent to the Japanese". ( April, 1945)