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The Unseen ANZAC How an Enigmatic Polar Explorer Created Australia's World War I Photographs

The Unseen ANZAC How an Enigmatic Polar Explorer Created Australia's World War I Photographs

The Unseen ANZAC How an Enigmatic Polar Explorer Created Australia's WW1 Photographs by J. Maynard

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This book is a biography of the AIF photographer George Hubert Wilkins.

 

During WW1, Charles Bean argued continually with Australian hierarchy to have appointed a dedicated photographer. He was eventually assigned the services of two polar explorers —  Frank Hurley and George Hubert Wilkins. Hurley had a falling out with Charles Bean over the use of composite images and resigned in January 1918.

George Hubert Wilkins initially joined the Australian Flying Corps in 1917 as an Officer. He then transferred and was appointed as an Official War Photographer.
Wilkins’ was not one to take his photographs from the safety of the trenches. He wanted to capture the action with the frontline troops the closer to the fighting the better.  Within weeks of arriving at the front, Wilkins' exploits were becoming well known throughout the AIF. He went 'over the top' with the troops and ran forward to photograph the actual fighting. On occasion, he led soldiers into battle, captured German prisoners, was wounded repeatedly, and was twice awarded the Military Cross medal for gallantry.

Wilkins ultimately produced the most detailed and accurate collection of World War I photographs in the world, which is now held at the Australian War Memorial. After the war, Wilkins returned to exploring and, during the next 40 years, his life became shrouded in secrecy – becoming a supporter of the Urantia movement. His work at the Western Front was forgotten, and others claimed credit for his photographs.

Throughout his life, Wilkins wrote detailed diaries and letters, but when he died in 1958 these documents were locked away. Jeff Maynard the author, follows a trail of myth and misinformation to locate Wilkins' lost records and to reveal the remarkable, true story of one of Australia's greatest war photographers.
Wilkins died in Framingham, Massachusetts on 30 November 1958.



  • Cover Soft (SB) or Hardback (HB): Heavy Hard Boards
  • Dimensions in mm : 241 x 164 x 30
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Total Pages: 296

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