Collection Online

First World War: Turks fire on picnic train Broken Hill Jan 1st 1915
(c. 1965)

Medium
oil and enamel paint on composition board
Measurements
43.5 × 87.7 cm
Inscription
inscribed and overinscribed in black paint l.l.: FIRST WORLD WAR / Turks fire on picnic Train Broken Hill JAN 1st 1915.
incised l.r.: Sam
incised and overinscribed in black paint l.r.: Sam Byrne.
Accession Number
1997.176
Department
Australian Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented through The Art Foundation of Victoria from the Bequest of Violet Dulieu, Founder Benefactor, 1997
© The Estate of Sam Byrne
Gallery location
Not on display
Description
The scene is a famous and tragic event related to Britain (and therefore Australia) declaring war on Turkey as an ally of Germany which lead up to the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April that year. Byrne shows "Turkish" camel drivers firing on a picnic train, indiscriminately killing civilians. The "Turks" in turn were hunted down by armed civilians and police and shot.