With the camera at Anzac

This album contains 41 views of Anzac Beach and the surrounding hills and gullies. Taken in 1915, the photographs it contains capture Gallipoli through the eyes of the digger.

There are images of sandbags and barbed wire, hospital tents and supply depots, captured Turkish soldiers, diggers in trenches, Lord Kitchener with his generals, crosses in the cemetery and imposing landmarks such as ‘The Sphinx’. Together these photographs make the album a powerful record of the Australian soldier at Gallipoli.

The photographs were taken by three young servicemen, George Downes, Arthur James Cook and Henry James Lowe, who had been recruited in Sydney in September 1914. Downes and Cook were railway clerks and Lowe, a porter who also worked for the railways. They were among sixty young men specially chosen from the staff of all branches of the New South Wales Government Railways by Lieutenant (later Major) EO Milne to form the First Railway Supply Detachment, 11th AASC.

After World War I, the three diggers applied to the Australian Government to register the copyright of this small album of photographs from their time at Gallipoli.

The copyright registration file, now in the National Archives, contains a letter dated 10 March 1919 in which one of the diggers explains how the album came about. ‘Messrs H J Lowe, A J Cook and myself worked together with the camera while on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Mr A J Cook was evacuated sick from Anzac on 27/9/15 and Mr Lowe and myself carried on until evacuation leaving the peninsula on 17/12/15… The photos were actually taken on various dates between 1 July and 17 December 1915... Yours sincerely Geo. Downes.’ Copyright was declared on 23 April 1919.

All three went on to serve in France, England and the Middle East, before returning to Australia. Their service files as well as all the photographs in the album can be found in the Archives’ collection.

Copyright registration

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
ItemApplication for artistic copyright of 'With the camera at Anzac' [registration only]1919A1861, 4210

World War I service records online

Records of men and women who served with the Australian army in World War I are preserved in the National Archives. We have made 376,000 of these records accessible online.

You can find information on how to access these records in Service records: Army – World War I. Or have a look at the records of George Downes, Henry Lowe and Arthur Cook listed in the table below.

World War I service records

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
ItemWorld War I service dossier for Henry James Lowe1914–20B2455, Lowe Henry James
ItemWorld War I service dossier for Arthur James Cook1914–20B2455, Cook A J
ItemWorld War I service dossier for George Downes1914–20B2455, Downes G

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017