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September 24 , 2009

An Eyewitness Account of Gallipoli


Signaller Ellis Silas of the 16th Battalion, Australian Imperial force, was the only artist to paint and sketch actual battle scenes showing Australian soldiers in action at Gallipoli. With his mates he went ashore at Anzac Cove in April 1915 and for the next month he witnessed the terrible carnage at Gallipoli whilst performing his du¬ties as signaller in the thick of the fighting, until he was wounded and had to be taken by hospital ship back to Egypt. The words and sketches of Ellis Silas give us a brilliant and moving eyewitness picture of what it was really like at Gallipoli in 1915. John Laffin has written an introduction and notes for the modern reader. He concludes his introduction: Everything he sketched, he had seen personally. He was the Anzac artist.

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