A camera on Gallipoli

April 25, 2016

The Australian War Memorial’s digital exhibition A camera on Gallipoli, featuring First World War photographs taken by Sir Charles Ryan, opened at Bingara and Warialda Libraries on April 18.

In 1914, at the age of 61, Sir Charles Ryan was appointed consulting surgeon to the AIF, embarking from Melbourne in October towards the Middle East and on to Gallipoli.

A camera on Gallipoli showcases a series of 39 candid photographs captured by Charles Ryan while serving with the AIF in Turkey in 1915.

The Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, says Charles Ryan’s photographs capture the reality behind the 1915 Gallipoli campaign, depicting a unique and often harsh view of our soldiers’ experiences.

“Ryan’s photographs reflect the Australians’ true experience of war, depicting the dry, forbidding landscape, tired troops in the trenches, and squalid dug-outs,” Dr Nelson said.

“Ryan also managed to capture the true spirit of the Australian soldiers who fought at Gallipoli. Their mateship, stoicism and endurance underpin the photographs and embody the meaning of the Anzac spirit.”

Behind the photographs in the exhibition is the story of Charles Ryan’s remarkable life. He served as a doctor with the Turkish army in 1877–78, treated Ned Kelly at Glenrowan, was a leading Melbourne surgeon and gave long service as a senior military officer. He was extended high civil and military recognition by his peers.

The exhibition is a centenary initiative to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

A camera on Gallipoli is on display at Bingara and Warialda Library from April 18 until May 6.