and Canada
in the
Second World War
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Exhibition Theme - Work

The billy boy

William Dobell (1899-1970)
The billy boy, William Dobell, Australian War Memorial, ART30245

He was a Glasgow Irishman . his name was Joe Westcott. He was more interested in political argument than boiling the billy - which was his only job. Whenever we were waiting for our tea at morning or afternoon smoko, Joe, a dinkum bush lawyer, was trying to shout someone else down in an earbashing contest, and we often had to boil our own billy. I painted him at Rathmines Air Base, where I worked on camouflage with Joshua Smith and a lot of other artists.

Oil on cardboard on hardboard 70.2 x 53.4 cm
Painted at RAAF Rathmines, NSW, 1943
Presented by the Allied Works Council in 1945
Australian War Memorial

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