Published: Fri 25 Jul 2014

Australians around the country will be able to view unique images of Anzac troops at Gallipoli with the launch today at the Australian War Memorial of its first centenary travelling exhibition.

A camera on Gallipoli showcases a series of 39 candid photographs captured by Charles Ryan while serving with the AIF in Turkey in 1915.

The Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, says Charles Ryan’s photographs capture the reality behind the 1915 Gallipoli campaign, depicting a unique and often harsh view of our soldiers’ experiences.

“In 1914, at the age of 61, Sir Charles Ryan was appointed consulting surgeon to the AIF, embarking from Melbourne in October for the Middle East and on to Gallipoli,” Dr Nelson said.

“Sir Charles Ryan’s photographs reflect the Australians’ true experience of war, depicting the dry, forbidding landscape, tired troops in the trenches, and squalid dug-outs.

“Ryan also managed to capture the true spirit of the Australian soldiers who fought at Gallipoli. Their mateship, stoicism and endurance underpin the photographs and embody the meaning of the Anzac spirit.

“Behind the photographs in the exhibition is the story of Charles Ryan’s remarkable life.  He served as a doctor with the Turkish army in 1877–78, treated Ned Kelly at Glenrowan, was a leading Melbourne surgeon and gave long service as a senior military officer.  He was extended high civil and military recognition by his peers.”

A camera on Gallipoli is a unique exhibition for the Australian War Memorial, with Charles Ryan’s photographs displayed in three formats—a framed exhibition, as a pop-up banner exhibition, and as a digital exhibition.

The exhibition is an initiative to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.



Estelle Blackburn     02 6243 4575              0409 600 038    

Diane Morris              02 6206 9825