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Margaret Anderson
, 1942

by Napier Waller

pastel on paper (45.7 x 36.2 cm)

Margaret Anderson GM (1915-1995) served with the Australian Army Nursing Service during World War II. On the way from Singapore to Australia her ship, 'The Empire Star', which carried 2,500 Australians, was targeted by a Japanese air raid. Leaving the safety of the hold and under heavy fire, she sheltered soldiers with her own body and attended to the wounded. She was awarded the George Medal for Bravery for her actions.

Napier Waller, best known as the artist who designed the mosaics for the Australian War Memorial's Hall of Memory, made this pastel as one of a series. It was used in a patriotic publication, which noted that Anderson 'symbolises the steadfast, efficient spirit of a glorious branch of the services.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 1999
Accession number: 1999.73