ARTWORK: Lieutenant Colonel John Milne, DSO, 36th Battalion, First Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, 2017, watercolour on paper
ARTWORK: Lieutenant Colonel John Milne, DSO, 36th Battalion, First Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, 2017, watercolour on paper

Artist captures the spirt of a Bundaberg ANZAC hero

LIEUTENANT Colonel John 'Jock' Milne, DSO, from Bundaberg, was the commander of the 36th Battalion and one of the many faces captured by local artist Ross Driver's World War I exhibition Road to Victory.

A century on from the cessation of hostilities in WWI, MrDriver's work could not but be showcased at a more prominent time.

With more than 140 people - the biggest attendance in memory at the Childers Art Space - attending the opening of the exhibition, his work and the stories of our war heroes has resonated community-wide.

Despite his rank, it's the tale of resilience and leadership which inspired MrDriver to paint 'Jock' (pictured above right) in extreme detail.

 

ROAD TO VICTORY: Local artist Ross Driver captures the Anzac spirit with his illustrations of local war heroes.
ROAD TO VICTORY: Local artist Ross Driver captures the Anzac spirit with his illustrations of local war heroes. Mikayla Haupt

"This is a very brave man," he said.

"As a Lieutenant Colonel in command of the 36th Battalion, they pushed the Germans back at Villers-Bretonneux.

"Unfortunately, a week later he was killed in action by artillery, a shell hit their headquarters." Before his tragic death, Jock had witnessed more than his fair share of conflict, right throughout Australian war efforts.

"He was one of the first men at Gallipoli," MrDriver said.

"He was wounded five times at Gallipoli and they thought he was dead - and he was also gassed at Messines.

"It was incredible what this man went through."

In a description about his artwork, MrDriver wrote:

"On April 25 1915, Milne took 'E' Company ashore at Gallipoli; although wounded five times he continued encouraging his men until he collapsed and was dragged down to the beach where it was realised he was still alive.

"...In April, 1918 he led a spectacular bayonet charge against two German divisions stopping them cold, thus saving Amiens from being captured which in turn could have lost the war for Great Britain and the rest of the allies."

Mr Driver said it was important to him to capture the human element of 'Jock' and detail what he'd experienced throughout his service.

 

Road to Victory will be on display at the Childers Art Space until June 10, 2018.

Pick up tomorrow's NewsMail for the story behind Mt Perry-born Head Sister Constance Mable Keys.


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