December 17th Shell Green

Oil on Belgium Linen

120 x 150cm

Officially recorded as a match of cricket to divert the attention from the Turks by the evacuating armies during the Gallipoli campaign was first ordered by the top brass cannot be proven from the sketchy photograph of December 17. An imperial myth much like the Christmas games of football between the British and German troops that officially never happened. It was more than likely the game was to let off steam from the arduous conditions these soldiers had to endure from the trenches under constant fire. The game was played at Shell Green, one of the few tracts of land on the peninsula that was now secure and flat, making it the ideal place to have some rest, a smoko and watch a game of cricket with your mates, whilst waiting to board the next boat out. I imagine the commanders in their reserved seating enjoyed the game just as much, before having to rewrite the official version.