Place Europe: France
Accession Number ART41021
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 355 x 900 x 525 cm; height of largest figure: 50 cm; height of smallest figure: 3 cm
Object type Diorama
Physical description figures: composite lead with [paint]; background: synthetic polymer paint on [fibreglass]; modelling: plaster over wood and wire with wood, wire, metal and [paint]
Location Main Bld: First World War Gallery: Western Front 1918: Dernacourt
Maker Bowles, Leslie
McCubbin, Louis Frederick
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Date made 1927
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


When the German offensive of March 1918 had been checked before Amiens, the enemy, with four divisions, on 5 April, made a strenuous effort to smash a way through at Dernancourt. Involving an initial retirement against enormous odds up the face of an open hillside by the 4th Division, as well as a subsequent counter-attack down the crest of this slope, it resulted in heavy Australian casualties. This diorama shows a phase of the attack when the Germans were attempting to advance en masse in the face of deadly Lewis gun and rifle-grenade fire.

Louis McCubbin painted the original figures, background and modelling. The background was repainted by George Browning in 1969-70 and and again with Rob Slater in 1990-91. The work was included in the Australian War Museum's inaugural exhibition in Melbourne in 1927 -1928. The work was first displayed at the Memorial in the France and Belgium gallery (then also referred to as Gallery 9). It was relocated to the Western Front gallery (also referred to as Gallery 6) in 1971.