Longstaff, Will(iam Frederick)
- Anne Gray
(b Ballarat, Victoria, Dec 25, 1879; d Littlehampton, Sussex, July 1, 1953).
Australian painter, also active in England. In 1900–01 he spent 16 months as a trooper in charge of remounts with the South African Light Horse during the Boer War. After this he moved to London where he studied at the Heatherley School of Fine Art. On his return to Australia he taught art privately until he joined the Australian Imperial Force in 1915, embarking for Egypt with the 1st Australian Remount Unit. Longstaff was invalided back to England in October 1917 and the following year was selected for camouflage training under the Australian Records Section war art scheme. A skilful and innovative camouflage worker, he took plane flights to note effects from the air, his thoroughness contributing to successful concealment of allied activity.
Longstaff is best known for his large, popular, allegorical paintings of ghostly fallen soldiers on battlefields, such as Menin Gate at Midnight (1927), and Immortal Shrine...