Brother Turk Thankful

Harry Julius’s clever animated comment on the fighting spirit of Australian forces against the Turkish enemy.


Location:Sydney, Australia

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Brother Turk Thankful

Harry Julius’s clever animated comment on the fighting spirit of Australian forces against the Turkish enemy.

Year: 1915

Length: 02:37

Production Company: Australasian Films Ltd

Credits: Cartoonist: Harry Julius

Source: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Catalogue Reference: 102844 Cartoons of the Moment. [Brother Turk Thankful, Saint George and the German Fleet]

People: Harry Julius

Location: Sydney, Australia

Subject: Gallipoli

ANZAC troops who landed at Gallipoli in April 1915 were not evacuated from ANZAC Cove, Suvla Bay and Helles until January 1916. This involved the removal of 140,000 men and at least 300 guns, all without alerting the enemy troops.

Harry Julius’ animation shows a fez-wearing turkey watching over eggs labelled ANZAC, Suvla and Helles. When the big bird says, ‘Strictly on the quiet, I’m very thankful that those bull pups have left Gallipoli’, his words celebrate the Allied troops’ courage and tenacity.

Julius, a well-recognised print cartoonist, avoided cheap jingoism as he did it. Earlier in his career, The Worker said Julius had a, ‘boy’s eye for the odd, and his way of looking at things ... is quaintly different from that of anyone else.’ His ‘quaint’ vision is put to good use in this combination of live action (as he draws lightning-fast lines), paper cutouts (turned into recognisable objects by his dynamic drawing), and stop-motion (when the finished objects move). (22 September 1910).

The turkey itself is a cultural caricature, with a drooping ‘moustache’ formed by the bird’s wattles, and curly-toed ‘oriental’ slippers. There are other visual stereotypes; a dachshund symbolising Germany, and the British Empire portrayed as a knight on a horse - St George - slaying a dragon labelled ‘German trade’.

In January 1915 Australasian Films commissioned Julius to create “Cartoons of the Moment” for their weekly Australian Gazette newsreel. Over the years many of the cartoons have been lost and only a handful remain.


Brother Turk Thankful

  • 00:00

    Intertitle: Cartoons of the Moment……..

  • 00:03

    Harry Julius by the ocean opening his sketchbook

  • 00:12

    Title: Brother Turk Thankful

  • 00:17

    Drawing of a turkey wearing a fez with the Turkish flag guarding eggs

  • 00:18

    Three broken eggs are labelled ‘Helles’, ‘Suvla’ and ‘Anzac’

  • 00:31

    The turkey cries and a voicebubble reads, ‘Strictly on the quiet. I’m very, very thankful that those bull pups have left Gallipoli’

  • 00:43

    Title: Sir George and Saint George

  • 00:45

    Rapid drawing of fat British man on horseback holding a lance pointed at a dragon/crocodile labelled ‘German Trade’

  • 01:27

    Words appear ‘New Saint George’

  • 01:33

    The Saint George character spears the dragon and flips it over his head

  • 01:38

    Drawing of a German character wearing a Pickelhaube , holding an oversized feather quill, shirt labelled with ‘German Newspaper’ and standing in front of an oversize inkwell labelled ‘Koelnische Volks Zietung’

  • 01:39

    Writing appears ‘Regarding compulsion in England’

  • 01:47

    Writing appears ‘Britain is quite uncontrollable if she is allowed to send millions of them to the Continent’

  • 01:54

    Voicebubble: ‘The German fleet must prevent this’

  • 02:00

    Drawing of fleet of battleships

  • 02:03

    In the sky overhead is drawn a German officer’s face with a long beard. The beard forms spider webs reaching to the ships

  • 02:31

    Words appear: ‘England expects that Germany’s fleet will need Spring cleaning before it can do its duty’