Company awaiting relief, the Caterpillar, near Ville-sur-Ancre
03 Sep 1880 - 21 Jan 1938
Will Dyson – together with official photographer Captain George Hubert Wilkins – inspected the French village of Ville-sur-Ancre which had been captured on 19 May 1917 by the Australian Imperial Force. Relating the initial drawing for this lithograph, Dyson wrote 'In the Caterpillar, near Ville-sur-Ancre the day after passing through the village, while this drawing was being made Capt Wilkins had crept out of the Caterpillar and through crops at the top, drawing down, through the moving of the crops, a sustained burst of machine gun fire which lasted long enough for me to do this drawing'.
Dyson depicts a number of uniformed soldiers resting on the roadside, wearing their British-issue Brodie pattern steel helmets. The sunken road is the 'Caterpillar' of the title.
from the exhibition 'Mad through the darkness: Australian artists and the Great War', 2015
Awaiting relief. The caterpillar Ville sur Ancre, 1918
lithograph, black ink on white laid Arnold paper
57.3 x 46.4 cm image; 65.4 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
Not on display
Shown in 1 exhibition
Mad through the darkness: Australian artists and the Great War, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Apr 2015–11 Oct 2015
Referenced in 2 publications
Ross McMullin, Will Dyson: Australia's radical genius, 'Chapter 3: 'THE WAR HAS ALTERED HIM A LOT' Holocaust 1914-1918', Australia, 2006, 209.
Ross McMullin, Will Dyson: Cartoonist, etcher and Australia's finest war artist, 'Chapter 3: THE GREAT WAR', Australia, 1984, 170 (illus.).