Harold Dunkley (1912-1995)

Phillip Hobson's photograph of Harold Dunkley, Kure, Japan, 1950Phillip Hobson's photograph of Harold Dunkley, Kure, Japan, 1950 HOBJ1136

Harold Dunkley was one of Australia’s longest-serving war photographers, serving with the army’s public relations unit for almost twenty years. As a public relations photographer, Dunkley was charged with taking photographs to promote army activities, usually for the media in Australia. Dunkley served during the Second World War with a transport company and machine-gun unit before travelling to Japan with the occupation force in early 1946. In 1948 he became an army public relations photographer, and was one of the few public relations photographers to visit Korea during the war. He also photographed the Malayan Emergency and the Vietnam War.

Harold Dunkley, Portrait of an unidentified crewmember of the RAN destroyer HMAS Bataan, c. February 1951 (DUKJ3792)Harold Dunkley, Portrait of an unidentified crewmember of the RAN destroyer HMAS Bataan, c. February 1951 DUKJ3792

Dunkley made one trip to Korea from his base in Japan, in March 1951. Before arriving in Korea he spent time with the Royal Australian Navy patrolling the Korean coast. Once in the country he covered a broad range of subjects. He made many studies of the everyday life of the Korean people, including views of women washing by rivers and people conducting business in the cities of Seoul and Pusan. He also spent time with the men of the Royal Australian Air Force’s 77 Squadron making portraits and images of work to promote their activities at home.

Harold Dunkley, Portrait of a South Korean man smoking a pipe, c. March 1951 (DUKJ4045)Harold Dunkley, Portrait of a South Korean man smoking a pipe, c. March 1951 DUKJ4045