Jeff Maynard - Wilkins' War

From Sunday Morning, 9:40 am on 23 April 2017

Cameras were banned when the ANZACs arrived at the Western Front in 1916, but journalist Charles Bean was adamant that WWI be documented in photographs.

George Hubert Wilkins in 1931

George Hubert Wilkins in 1931 Photo: Public domain

Enter enigmatic Australian polar explorer George Hubert Wilkins, who took to the job with gusto. Known for being absolutely fearless, Wilkins was determined to get a photo of every trench in which the ANZACs had been.

Refusing to carry a gun, he even went ‘over the top’ with the troops and ran forward to photograph the fighting. While in the trenches he led soldiers into battle, captured German prisoners, was wounded repeatedly, and was twice awarded the Military Cross.

The Unseen Anzac is Jeff Maynard's story of Wilkins, whose work is regarded as the most detailed and accurate collection of WWI photographs in the world.