Publication Date



The collection of official war art housed in the Australian War Memorial has played an important role in shaping a memory of the First World War for almost a century. This article explores the importance of eyewitness testimony in the production of war paintings for the Memorial's collection during the interwar years. Focusing on the repainting of official artist Harold Septimus Power's canvas Saving the Guns of Robecq, it explores the reasons why - in the inevitably contested construction of memory - Charles Bean and John Treloar privileged veterans ' memories over artists' interpretations of the conflict. It argues that in the process of memory making aesthetics mattered less than portraying the war in a way acceptable to the men who had experienced it.


School of Arts

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.