|Birth date:||20 January 1888|
|Birth place:||Australia: Victoria, Dean|
|Death date:||07 October 1975|
|Death place:||Australia: Victoria, Geelong|
|Service number:||8839 - First World War, 1914-1918|
|Unit:||23rd Australian Infantry Battalion|
Wallace Anderson's legacy as a great Australian sculptor is encapsulated in the First World War dioramas and a number of bronze sculptures at the Australian War Memorial. Anderson worked on the dioramas and related plan models from 1918, when a modelling section was formed within the Australian War Records Section in London immediately after the November armistice. He not only contributed engineering and sculptural knowledge to this undertaking, but his combat experience enabled him to describe the war devastation that had occurred in the areas depicted.
Having the means to attend secondary school, Anderson was enrolled at Geelong College from 1902 to 1903, after which he studied engineering at Gordon Technical College from 1904 to 1905, where he also took modelling classes at night. He later attended night classes for life-drawing at the Victorian Artists Society, and for drawing at the National Gallery School, while teaching art by day at Sunshine Technical School.
In June 1915 Anderson enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) at Melbourne. He was 5ft 8 inches (173cm) tall, with a fresh complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair. He attended officer training school at Broadmeadows, as well as musketry school and 1 machine-gun school. In May 1916 he married Gladys Ada Andrews at Scots Church in Melbourne and two months later he embarked on HMAT Armadale (A26) for posting at an Instructional Camp in England.
Anderson was sent from England to France in January 1917, where he served as a Lieutenant in the 23rd Battalion. His early war service with the 23rd Battalion involved action near the town of Albert, Mouquet Farm, and Bullecourt. His diary records the futility and sickening violence of the Western Front. Due to a request from his friend, Lieutenant Sidney Gullett, Anderson was seconded to assist in gathering information for the Australian War Records Section. This in turn led to his appointment as museums officer and sculptor to the AIF in April 1918.
Based in the Australian War Records Section in London, Anderson became head of the Modelling Subsection, tasked with researching and constructing the Memorial s first dioramas. His associates in this included painter Louis McCubbin and sculptor Web Gilbert. Following the war, Anderson, McCubbin and Gilbert toured the battlefields of Belgium, France, Egypt, Palestine and Gallipoli in order to gather visual information. They made sketches, watercolours and plasticine models.
The men returned to Australia in 1920 after completing fieldwork, to begin construction of the dioramas and topographical models in the Australian War Museum (as the Memorial was called at the time) Exhibition Building at Fitzroy, Melbourne. Anderson continued with the Memorial until 1930, when he began working as a private sculptor. He resumed his position at the Memorial in the late 1930s working until after the Second World War, assisting with the compilation of models and other artefacts as the Memorial was transferred from Melbourne to Canberra.
On his own initiative, Anderson produced a series of commemorative sculptures for the Memorial, which symbolise the ANZAC spirit. The men depicted in his sculptures - Evacuation ART09633, Defence of ANZAC ART13664 and Water carrier ART14074 - embody the ideal of healthy, young Australians sent to fight at Gallipoli, perpetuated in the ANZAC legend. His most famous sculpture, however, is Man with the donkey at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. Some of Anderson's personal papers are in the Private Records collection at the Memorial.
Rolls and Awards
AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL, CANBERRA, ACT 1976. WORLD WAR 1 DIORAMA TITLED BATTLE OF ROMANI, 1916. SCULPTURE: W. WALLACE ANDERSON. LANDSCAPE: LOUIS MCCUBBIN.043592
CANBERRA, ACT. 1956-07-23. THE ROMANI DIORAMA WHICH IS ON EXHIBITION AT THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL. THIS DIORAMA SHOWS THE AUSTRALIAN COUNTER ATTACK AGAINST THE TURKISH FORCE ON THE LONG SAND DUNE OF MOUNT MEREDITH ON THE 1916-08-04. SHORTLY AFTER DAWN THE NEXT DAY THE TURKS WERE ROUTED, AND AS A...069339
AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL EXHIBIT. WORLD WAR I DIORAMA TITLED: LONE PINE, 1915. SCULPTURE: W. WALLACE ANDERSON. LANDSCAPE: G. BROWNING.136084
View of Mount Meredith. In the foreground from left to right mounted are Lieutenant L McCubbin, an Indian Orderly, Lieutenant C Web Gilbert, Lieutenant W W Anderson and four Bedouins. This photograph was taken to assist the official artist in the construction of the Romani diorama.B02971
ARTILLERY MODEL, FOR AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL BY W.W. ANDERSON, PANORAMIC A. AND B.J06706
ARTILLERY MODEL, FOR AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL BY W.W. ANDERSON, PANORAMIC A. AND B.J06706A
ARTILLERY MODEL, FOR AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL BY W.W. ANDERSON, PANORAMIC A. AND B.J06706B
A PHOTOGRAPH OF THREE SKETCH MODELS BY W.W. ANDERSON, SYMBOLISING "GALLIPOLI"J03021
"THE WATER CARRIER." A MODEL EXECUTED BY W.W. ANDERSON. (A VIEW OF THE RIGHT HAND SIDE. FOR FRONT VIEW SEE J.306.)J03028
"THE WATER CARRIER." A MODEL EXECUTED BY W.W. ANDERSON. (A VIEW OF THE LEFT HAND SIDE. FOR FRONT VIEW SEE J.306.)J03029
"THE EVACUATION" - A SYMBOLICAL FIGURE PORTRAYING THE MOOD IN WHICH THE AUSTRALIANS RECEIVED THE ORDER TO EVACUATE GALLIPOLI, BY W. WALLACE ANDERSON. (TRANSFERRED FROM "A" SERIES A. 2864.)J03379
Lille, France. 15 December 1919. Group portrait of the staff of the Australian Modeling Subsection. These were the last of the AIF to leave France. Lieutenant W. W. Anderson, Officer Commanding. No identification details were recorded for the men in this group.E05912
Unidentified soldier, open necked shirt and slouch hat with brim let down.ART09632
Bronze statue of a First World War soldier wearing 'ANZAC uniform' (bare torso, shorts made from cut down trousers, hat, boots and socks) carrying three four-gallon tins used for water storage and collection.ART14074
Figure of a Naval rating.ART14125
Figure of a Naval rating.ART14126
Depicts a bronze bust of a typical Australian soldier. This bronze edition was cast in 1994 from the original plaster cast from 1926.ART90166
This sculpture depicts two Australian infantrymen. One is standing about to throw a grenade, while the other kneeling with his rifle in both hands. This is the original plaster version of 'Cobbers'. In 1932 Anderson approached the Australian War Memorial with the notion of producing copies of...ART90834
This diorama depicts events relating to 25 September 1918 when the 4th Light Horse Brigade was ordered to attack the village of Semakh, which it proceeded to do in the approved light horse manner - riding up, dismounting, and then acting like infantry. The keystone of the enemy's defence was the...ART91119
This sculpture depicts two Australian infantrymen. One is standing about to throw a grenade, while the other kneeling with his rifle in both hands. This is a bronze version of the original plaster version of 'Cobbers' [ART90834]. In 1932 Anderson approached the Australian War Memorial with the...ART41002
The sculptor Wallace Anderson was chosen to work on 'Romani' as he had been to the battlefields to collect information and had served in the First World War. The diorama shows the Australian counter attack against the Turkish forces on the long dune of Mount Meredith on 4 August 1916. It records...ART41024
A plaster model for the bronze edition (ART14125) that depicts a naval officer, dressed in seaman's uniform and cap, standing on guard with legs apart and hands behind his back.ART94011
Fourth in the series of nine dioramas depicting the scheme of evacuation practiced at the Battle of Messines in France.ART41025
Third in the series of nine dioramas depicting the scheme of evacuation practiced at the Battle of Messines in France. This model shows stretched cases being loaded on to a light tramway and being pushed to the Advanced Dressing Station for further treatment.ART41026
Second in the series of nine dioramas depicting the scheme of evacuation practiced at the Battle of Messines in France. This model shows the walking wounded and stretched cases arriving at a Regimental Aid Post in a support stretcher.ART41027
First in a series of nine dioramas depicting the scheme of evacuation practiced at the Battle of Messines in France.ART41028
Fifth in the series of nine dioramas depicting the scheme of evacuation practised at the Batle of Messines in France.ART41030
Eighth in the series of nine dioramas depicting the scheme of evacuation practised at the Battle of Messines in France, showing No.2 General Hospital at Wimereaux.ART41033
Ninth in the series of nine dioramas depicting the scheme of evacuation practised at the Battle of Messines in France.ART41034
This diorama shows the method for attacking German 'pillboxes', concrete strong-posts fortified with machine-guns. This work depicts a scene in the swamp of Nonne Boschen, east of Ypres, on 20 September 1917. Rifle-grenadiers and Lewis gunners attack the position from the front, while bayonet...ART41023
This diorama depicts the attack of the Turkish position known as Lone Pine on 6 August 1915. As the sun was sinking behind Imbros and Samothrace, the Anzacs made their determined charge against the enemy's position. The trenches were roofed over with pine-logs which the Australians tore away and...ART41017
Seventh in the series of nine dioramas depicting the scheme of evacuation practised at the Battle of Messines in France. This model shows a Casualty Clearing Station where the wounded received further treatment and emergency operations were performed as patients were brought from the front line.ART41032
Sixth in the series of nine dioramas depicting the scheme of evacuation practised at the Battle of Messines in France.ART41031
The scene shown in this diorama is near a sunken road, “Fritz’s Folly”, mainly held by the Germans and taken and lost in some of the most difficult fighting of the war. It illustrates the appalling conditions in which both sides lived and fought on the Somme during the dreadful winter of...ART41020
Two soldiers wearing 'Anzac uniform' - hats, shorts made from cut down trousers, boots and socks, one with bare torso and one with improvised short sleeved shirt, one carrying rifle and bandolier around chest, the other carrying a four-gallon tin and a sack slung over his shoulders. Depicted during...ART13664
Wallace Anderson’s Evacuation was the first sculpture acquired for the Memorial's art collection. The work represents a muscular, slouch-hatted Australian soldier at Gallipoli, leaning against a broken gun carriage, with his foot placed on a Turkish flag. He is depicted at the moment of hearing...ART09633
|Date of birth||1888-01-20|
|Date of death||1975-10-07|