Artists of the Great War
Gallipoli and The Anzac Book
The Anzac Book: Written and illustrated in Gallipoli by the men of Anzac reflects the harsh and bloody reality of the Dardanelles Campaign of 1915.
Published in 1916, The Anzac Book was an anthology of drawings and watercolours, stories and poems produced by Australasian soldiers in response to their experiences at Gallipoli. Initially conceived as an Anzac New Year magazine, the book was the idea of official war correspondent and war historian, Charles Bean, in November 1915. Combatant artists David Barker, Frank Crozier, JWS Henderson, Otho Hewett, Cyril Leyshon-White and Bean himself drew on whatever was accessible to them during combat. The soldiers’ hardships and trauma are presented in a sardonically humorous manner, reflecting what we now consider ‘the Anzac spirit’.
Barker’s drawing of a wounded but defiant infantryman in front of a torn Union Jack was selected as the cover illustration for The Anzac Book, winning the artist a prize of five pounds.
David Barker Gallipoli 1915, Australian War Memorial, Canberra