The buttress figure is based on a photograph of Australian sailors from HMAS Sydney landing on Direction Island in the Cocos–Keeling Islands in search of the shore party from the German raider SMS Emden in November 1914.
Some members of the Royal Australian Naval Reserve (RANR) and companies of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) were similarly dressed and equipped when they seized the German colonies in New Guinea in September 1914.
Our able seaman is ready for landing on a hostile shore. Over the top of his naval working rig he wears canvas leggings and infantry belt equipment beneath a life jacket. The rifle in his hands is a .303-calibre Short Magazine Lee-Enfield, the same weapon carried by the AIF.