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Ted Mathews

Alistair (Archie) Graham
The Last Anzac - Mr. Ted Matthews
91cm x 61cm
Oil on Canvas

Albert (Ted) Matthews was recognised as the last surviving ANZAC to run ashore Gallipoli, April 25th, 1915 and stayed for the entire 8 month campaign. In 1996 I had the great honour to sketch and chat with Mr. Matthews, age 100, for a portrait. After many stories, personal notes & sketches, I asked Ted to remember his mates. He went deathly quiet, gazed down and pushed his old wrinkled hand over his heart. In that one moment of a gesture, I instantly heartfelt an emotion of that which we
call “mateship” of the ANZAC. Loyalty, love of country, respect, comradeship, the eloquence of an old man’s simple gesture. One, which I cannot really capture in words. It was felt in my heart and soul and this is what I have desired to capture.
“Gallipoli” is something as an Australian, I feel, the very same as my father and my son, and hopefully my grand daughter. I attempted to paint the actual landing but fallen corpses of 19 yr old men saddened me so profoundly, I had to stop. I opted instead to capture the love and pride I feel for someone so dear to Australia’s essence and
character in a portrait. Lest we Forget.