An image of With the tunnellers near Nieuport

Will Dyson

(Australia 03 Sep 1880 – 21 Jan 1938)

With the tunnellers near Nieuport

Other titles:
Australian tunnellers near Nieuport, With the 2nd Tunnellers: La Panne, 1917
Not on display
Further information

On 11 August 1917, Dyson travelled to Nieuport, Belgium, where he visited Australian soldiers tunnelling through sand dunes in order to destabilise a German post. In July the 2nd Australian Tunnelling Company suffered a significant loss when many of its members were captured following a German attack. With the tunnellers near Nieuport is one of two lithographs that resulted from Will Dyson's time in the region.

Dyson's scene suggests an unspoken, silent comradery among the figures, which has the effect of universalising the image to a degree, while simultaneously retaining the distinctly Australian nationalistic idea of mateship. Playing cards were issued with the aim of boosting morale and national pride. Dyson exemplifies in the five tunnellers, an unflinching perseverance.

lithograph, black ink on white laid Arnold paper
49.0 x 43.0 cm image; 65.6 x 52.3 cm sheet
Signature & date

Signed l.r. corner, pencil "Will. Dyson". Not dated.

Gift of the High Commissioner for Australia (London) 1919
Accession number