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Photograph - Young Recruits, Australia, Jul 1915 Image Reg. No: ST 41201 3

Photograph of a group of young World War I recruits, probably taken in July 1915. The photograph was sent to Mrs A Galbraith by Driver Clarence McArthur Fraser, a friend of Sapper Alfred Galbraith. Fraser sent the photo with a letter, dated 21 December 1916. Fraser and Galbraith had signed up together.

Alfred enlisted in the Australian Army at Broadmeadows the age of 20, in July 1915 - service #3648. Australian soldiers had been fighting at Gallipoli for four months and news of the assault had filtered back with heroic tales of 'The Baptism of Fire' of the new Australian Nation. Alfred was rejected by the Army at first; however, selection requirements became less rigorous after the Gallipoli landing and his second attempt to enlist was successful. His father gave written permission for him to join 'the Military Forces to serve the Empire abroad' (his mother had by that time passed away). After signals training at Broadmeadows he was made a Sapper in the Signal Engineers. Sappers were responsible for running out cable in shallow trenches for wire and radio communications. Alfred was placed in the 2nd Division Signals Company, Australian Engineers. He embarked from Melbourne on 23 November 1915 on the 'Ceramic'.

On 15 July 1916 Alfred was sent up to the trenches of the Western Front, and was killed on his first day. His father never forgave himself for giving Alfred permission to enlist, and for years forbade mention of his son's name.
Small black and white photograph in a black cardboard frame embossed with floral motifs.
Description Of Content:
Sepia photograph depicting a group of eight young men in what appears to be civilian clothing, most with loose jackets buttoned to the top. Their hair is mostly short and perhaps freshly cut. Tents and trees are visible behind.
Acquisition Information:
Donation & Subsequent Transfer from Mrs M. Jamieson, 1985
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 72 mm (Height), 92 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: death mourning, world war i 1914-1918, adelaide
Themes this item is part of: Australian Imperial Forces (AIF), Public Life & Institutions Collection, Sapper Alfred Galbraith, AIF (1895-1916)
Primary Classification: MILITARY HISTORY
Secondary Classification: Service
Tertiary Classification: recruitment
Format: Photograph: Sepia; See Dimensions Tab
Sender: Mr Clarence Fraser, Flanders, France, 21 Dec 1916
Addressed To: Mrs A Galbraith, Elsternwick, Victoria, Australia, 21 Dec 1916
Person Depicted: Alfred Galbraith

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