Wilkins in World War One. Unarmed he led troops into battle and became the only
official Australian photographer in any war to receive a combat decoration.
(Copyright: Australian War Memorial)
When he learnt about the war, Wilkins went to France where he was appointed an official photographer with the Australian War Records Office. From November 1917 until the end of the War Wilkins was responsible for Australia's photographic record of fighting at the Western Front. He constantly risked his life working forward of the front line and refused to carry firearms. He became the only Australian official photographer, in any war, to receive a combat decoration. He was awarded the Military Cross twice. At the end of the war he travelled to Turkey to make a photographic record of the battlefields of Gallipoli.