Mateship Meant Everything

Australian wounded soldier being carried by a mate

This particular photograph is truly one of the most incredible examples of mateship I have ever seen.

The photograph was taken at the Anzac Day March in London in 1919. An Australian soldier, who lost both his legs, being carried into Australia House by a comrade to obtain a position of vantage to view the Anzac Day March through the streets.

Mateship is a defining character within the Australian nation and its military. In the military, mateship meant everything.

Mateship is a concept that can be traced back to early colonial times in Australia.

The harsh environment in which convicts and new settlers found themselves meant that men and women closely relied on each other for all sorts of help. In Australia, a ‘mate’ is more than just a friend and is a term that implies a sense of shared experience, mutual respect and unconditional assistance.

The word mate bloomed during WW1, when many trenches were being built because of the machine gun. Many trenches were built which often stretched miles across war grounds. The words ‘digger’ and ‘mate’ gained the same meaning and became interchangeable

Lest We Forget.

Photograph came from the Australian War Memorial. Image file number AWM H18643. Some information came from Wikipedia.

Webpage for World War 1 – Australian War Heroes


The painting below, is based on an iconic Gallipoli photograph of an Australian soldier carrying a wounded mate.

The painting titled ‘Mateship’, was painted in 2015 by Peter Barnes.  

Mateship is a defining character within the Australian nation and its military.

The painting was created with acrylic paint on canvas and is not for sale.  It went to an Afghanistan War Veteran.

Mateship Painting

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