In the Sinai desert it was necessary to keep constant watch not only for Turkish soldiers but also for Bedouin engaged in espionage. Here in the Desert patrol diorama a light horse patrol, having sighted tracks in the sand, is preparing to investigate. Set around the areas of Jifjafa and Hammah in the Sinai Desert during the period April–August 1916, the subject depicts the intense reconnaissance and patrolling undertaken by the light horse.

Desert Patrol

The figures were cast from some of the plasters from Web Gilbert’s Romani diorama, which he had started working on before his resignation from the model scheme in 1923.

The current background that Arlo Mountford was commissioned to create in 2014 for the Desert Patrol diorama spans 8 hours and includes sound and animation. He spent months mining the Memorial’s collection and archives, reading all he could about Australian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula in order to develop his concept. The diorama itself is not based on an actual event or battle but depicts activities undertaken by Australians in the Sinai during the period of April-August 1916. Mountford has animated artworks and photographs from the Memorial’s collection basing each one hour episode of the animation on possible incidents or activities undertaken in the Sinai: planes fly overhead and sandstorms appear in the desert landscape.

Acknowledgement of Traditional Custodians

The Australian War Memorial acknowledges the traditional custodians of country throughout Australia. We recognise their continuing connection to land, sea and waters. We pay our respects to elders past and present.