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Battlefield burial of three NCOs Theme: Patriotic Duty

Artist: Ivor HELE
Birth/Death: 1912–1993

Title: Battlefield burial of three NCOs

Credit Line: Australian War Memorial, Canberra

During the Second World War, South Australian artist Ivor Hele earned the reputation of being the 'soldiers' artist'. He served for almost the entire duration of the war, covering the Australian campaigns in both the Middle East and New Guinea. Hele arrived in New Guinea in June 1943. In late July Hele witnessed the burial of three young soldiers who had been killed the previous day. He made numerous sketches of the bodies awaiting burial - even though, due to wartime censorship, this was a 'taboo' subject. On his return to Australia, in August 1944, Hele painted Battlefield burial of three NCOs based on his sketches. His painting records the harsh reality and despair of war.

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