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A camera on Gallipoli

AWM P02648.001 (Small)

The Australian War Memorial’s digital exhibition ‘A camera on Gallipoli’, featuring First World War photographs taken by Sir Charles Ryan, can now be viewed at Concord Library.

In 1914, at the age of 61, Sir Charles Ryan was appointed consulting surgeon to the AIF, embarking from Melbourne in October to the Middle East, then on to Gallipoli.

‘A camera on Gallipoli’ showcases a series of 39 candid photographs. The Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, says ‘Charles Ryan’s photographs capture the reality behind the 1915 Gallipoli campaign, depicting a unique and often harsh view of our soldiers’ experiences’.

Charles Ryan led a remarkable life. He served as a doctor with the Turkish army in 1877–78, treated Ned Kelly at Glenrowan, was a leading Melbourne surgeon and gave long service as a senior military officer.

The digital exhibition is a centenary initiative supported by the Concord RSL to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. It can be viewed at Concord Library until Sunday, 3 August 2015.

The Landing at Anzac


The City of Canada Bay, like many councils around Australia, holds a print of The Landing at Anzac, 25th April 1915 by Charles Edward Dixon (1872-1934).

Prints of the painting were widely distributed throughout Australia following the First World War. The painter’s great nephew, Ted Smith, even recalled seeing one on the wall of a hut in New Guinea during the Second World War, noting that ‘It inspired a whole generation of Australians’.

It is not certain how many of the 1658 local men and women who enlisted in the First World War served at Gallipoli. At least 16 died at Gallipoli (their names are listed below in comments).

The print is currently on display at Five Dock Library. The original painting is held by Parliament House, Canberra.