A sentimental song

Place Oceania: New Guinea, Huon Peninsula, Ramu River Finisterre Ranges Area, Finisterre Ranges
Accession Number ART21328
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 20.3 x 22.8 cm
Object type Work on paper
Physical description pen, ink and wash on paper
Maker Dargie, William
Place made New Guinea: Huon Peninsula, Ramu River Finisterre Ranges Area, Finisterre Ranges
Date made March - April 1944
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


One soldier is playing a guitar, while three others sit around him singing along. This is as sketch of members of the 2/10th Australian Infantry Battalion after a long climb up the mountains to Casey's Knoll, Ramu Valley, Finnisterres Range, New Guinea. Dargie noted,
"During the long climb up the mountain to Casey's Knoll (see No 286), I had noticed that one of the chaps was carefully carrying a small ukulele. He didn't seem to care how much mud covered his rifle, or his pack or himself, but he was most solicitous about his instrument. He was a big fellow, and the tender care with which he carried this tiny ukulele, seemed fantastically at variance with his whole appearance. However, none of his cobbers saw anything at all strange in this, apparently.
Next day, I realised why. After most of the mud had been removed from their clothes, and they were reasonably dry, I heard them begin a sing-song. A small group of men was gathered around the owner of the ukulele, all singing the mournful sort of sentimental songs for which soldiers seem to have a partiality, with the greatest of gusto. Then some quite unprintable parodies on came. Soon nearly everyone from the platoon was joining in".