Officers of D Company, 10th Battalion eating a meal in their dugout mess. Left to right: Lieutenant (Lt) William Howard Perry, MC; Lt William Stanley Frayne (killed in action 6 August 1915); Lt John de Courey Harrison; Captain Felix Gordon Giles, DSO, Officer Commanding; Lt David Leslie Todd (1915) / A00715.
Alison Wishart, Senior Curator of Photographs at Australian War Memorial, explores the remarkable photographic record left by the soldiers.
Made possible by the birth of Kodak’s portable camera, the photographs give a rare and intimate portrait of the soldier’s day-to-day life away from the heat of battle.
2015 marked the centenary of one of the most commemorated events in Australia’s military history.
One hundred years ago, at dawn of 25th April, boatloads of Australians and New Zealanders quietly landed on Turkey’s Gallipoli Peninsula at a beach that became known as Anzac Cove.
Had Australia’s military commanders and elected leaders known how significant this event was to become in Australia’s history and the development of its national identity, they might have thought to send official photographers or war artists.
But they didn’t. Instead, the photographic record of the nine month Gallipoli campaign relies primarily on the images taken by soldiers.
Fortunately, Kodak had released its ‘Vest Pocket’ camera in 1912, which made taking a camera to the front more feasible. Kodak encouraged enlistees to do this, marketing their new model as ‘the soldier’s Kodak’.
Below is pictured the camera used by Sergeant P E Virgoe at Gallipoli from May-October 1915.
Vest pocket Kodak camera belonging to Sergeant P E Virgoe, 4 Light Horse Regiment, AIF (ca. 1913) / REL33223.