Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey. c May 1915. Two soldiers of the Supply Depot, 1st Australian Division, standing on the beach amongst stacked boxes of corned beef and canned meat. Rows of petrol or water cans are in the foreground. P02648.012
In 1915 soldier and surgeon Sir Charles Ryan captured the Australians’ experience on Gallipoli via a series of candid photographs. Ryan’s sensitivity, his empathy with those on both sides, and his eye for the remarkable – and the remarkable in the everyday – are apparent in his photographic work. These images take us behind the stirring accounts of battle being reported at home to reveal the dry, forbidding landscape, tired troops in the trenches, squalid dug-outs, and the horrendous task of burying the dead. Here, in Ryan’s display of mateship, stoicism and dogged endurance, is the spirit of Anzac.