According to the Australian War Memorial, this photo was taken on the 7th of June 1945, in the Soraken Area of Bougainville.
As I look at this scene, I wonder about the young soldiers watching the artist. Maybe they are taking a moment of calm reflection, as they consider the contrast of this moment to the horrors they have witnessed. Maybe they are envying the artists skill and thinking how much they would prefer the business of Art to the business of War. I think of one soldier in particular … he is standing, second in from the top left … my Grandfather.
Private Gordon Waterson was Forward Scout for his team in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. After some years, he contracted malaria and was eventually sent home for recuperation. The soldier that took his place was soon after killed in action. Even though malaria most likely saved…
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