Lieutenant Edward Albert Douglas Watson
|Birth date:||13 June 1920|
|Birth place:||Australia: New South Wales, Sydney|
|Death place:||Australia: New South Wales, Sydney|
|Service number:||NX191007 - Second World War, 1939-1945|
Douglas Watson, one of the youngest official war artists of the Second World War, was born in Sydney on 13 June 1920. He studied at the East Sydney Technical College and on graduating in 1940, was awarded a state scholarship to study overseas, but because of the war he was not able to leave Australia.
In 1941, at the age of 21, Watson applied to become an official war artist. He had spent six months travelling around Western Australia, sketching in the hope of getting work as a war artist, and he had written to the Commonwealth Art Advisory Committee to express his interest.
Watson enlisted in July 1942. He was assigned to 4 Camouflage Training Unit, then transferred to the Military History Section in August 1943. He became an official war artist with the rank of lieutenant in November 1943 and was sent to Townsville to begin his commission. On the way he stopped in Sydney to document the activities at the Sydney Graving Dock.
Watson's commission spanned the last two years of the war and most of 1946. He covered military activities throughout Australia, New Guinea and Borneo.
After the war Watson traveled extensively, studied in Europe and the United Kingdom, and exhibited at the Royal Academy in London and with the Contemporary Art Society in Sydney. Watson was the youngest artist to be awarded the Wynne prize, which he won in 1942, and again in 1945.
Watson died in Sydney in 1972.
This work depicts the unloading of LSTs (Landing ships, tank) at night in Balikpapan, Indonesia. LST is a military acronym for naval vessels that were created during the Second World War. LSTs were designed to carry a large number of vehicles, cargo and landing troops and deliver them directly onto...
Portrait depicting NX12229 Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Trangmar Allan, OBE, MC, MID, Commanding Base Sub-Area, Finschhafen. Served with 30th and 5/45 Infantry Battalions and awarded Military Cross, 1914-18 War. Served with 2/17th Australian Infantry Battalion, Brigade Major, 20th Australian Infantry...
This work depicts the burial site of a Japanese soldier in the foreground. A plank of wood has been stuck into the dirt mound, marking the site, and has Japanese text written on it. In the background of the work is an anti aircraft gun and a shed. The grave depicted is located in Madang, New Guinea.
This work is one of a series of drawings of members of 7 Platoon, A Coy, 2/33rd Australian Infantry Battalion, done in July 1945 in Balikpapan. In a letter to Treloar, 28 July, 1945, 205/2/13 Watson writes "During the last week I have concentrated on the activities of the 2/33 Aust Inf Bn, namely...
Portrait of three Australian soldiers. One soldier is positioned in the centre of the work, staring straight at the viewer. A second soldier to the left of this primary soldier stands with his back to the viewer. The third soldier is positioned to the right of the central soldier, sitting down with...
Promenade, Farm Cove, depicts a group of people spending leisure time around the foreshore of Sydney Harbour. Included in this scene is a lone soldier walking among the group in his uniform. A certain gentleness, pride and intrigue surround what appears to be a young soldier depicted in the work....
Artists sketchbook-notebook compiled by Lt Watson following his appointment to the Military History Section. The notes mostly relate to camouflage activities, weapons handling and administrative matters. Also contains various black ink sketches.
Maker: Watson, Edward Albert Douglas
|Date of birth||1920-06-13|
|Date and unit at enlistment (ORs)||1943-12-09|
|Date of discharge||1946-08-07|
|Date of death||1972|