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’George Washington’ and the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel: legend-making in wartime Papua

The real story behind the famous fuzzy wuzzy angel photo

Ples Singsing - A PNG Writer's Blog

By Dr Jonathan Ritchie and Gregory Bablis

My colleague from the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery, Gregory Bablis, was unable to get to Finland to present his section of our joint paper and so I will read his contribution later in the presentation. To begin with, however, I will provide some preliminary notes.

This photograph was taken on Christmas Day, 25 December, 1942, by the New Zealand-born photographer George Silk, who was working – now we would say embedded – with Australian soldiers during the New Guinea campaign in World War Two. It depicts a wounded Australian soldier, Corporal George ‘Dick’ Whittington, being escorted to a first aid station at the rear of the fighting that was under way as Australian and American forces attacked entrenched Japanese positions at Buna, on Papua New Guinea’s northern coast.

Silk was resting under a tree at the time he took…

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Published by Academia Nomad

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