Camera shy ?

The State Library of Queensland has a number of World War I items that are proving difficult to identify. One in particular, is quite a puzzler. The snippet above is from a large mounted photograph entitled ‘Army group portrait’, that was donated to the library in 1986.

The image has been digitised and preserved through the QANZAC 100 : memories for a new generation program, and is available freely to download in high resolution from the State Library catalogue. The library is seeking assistance in identifying the ‘group’.

The photograph is annotated on the rear with the following -  ‘possibly regiment which was under the command of … Col. Annand’.
It is dated 15 March 1918, and there are 144 men pictured, but there are very few other clues.
One member of the group in particular was reluctant to have his photograph taken, taking care to make sure his ‘giggle’ hat is pulled right down over his face.

Here are some observations -

  • Not everyone is kitted out with their uniform, so perhaps they are still in the training camp.
  • There are two corporals seated at either end of the front row, holding signal / semaphore flags.
  • They are wearing brass numbers on their caps

If you can help us identify the image, please add your ideas to the comments, thank you.

Download the large image here '7938 Army group portrait 15 Mar 1918'

Read more ...

Marg Powell


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This is the man , and those flags are from a field engineers battalion .Frederick William Gadsby ANNANDReligion CongregationalOccupation Commercial managerMarital status MarriedAge at embarkation 43Next of kin Wife, Mrs Helen Alice Annand, Mayfield Street, Hamilton, Brisbane, QueenslandEnlistment date 12 November 1915Rank on enlistment MajorUnit name 7th Field Company EngineersAWM Embarkation Roll number 14/26/1Embarkation details Unit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A23 Suffolk on 22 December 1915Rank from Nominal Roll Lieutenant-ColonelUnit from Nominal Roll 2nd Pioneer BattalionRecommendations (Medals and Awards) Mention in DespatchesAwarded, and promulgated, 'London Gazette', Second Supplement, No. 30107 (1 June 1917); 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 169 (4 October 1917).Mention in DespatchesAwarded, and promulgated, 'London Gazette' No. 31089 (31 December 1918); 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61 (23 May 1919).Mention in DespatchesAwarded, and promulgated, 'London Gazette' No. 31448 (11 July 1919); 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 124 (30 October 1919).Mention in DespatchesAwarded, and promulgated, 'London Gazette', second Supplement, No. 29890 (2 January 1917); 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 103 (29 June 1917).Fate Returned to Australia 4 July 1919Other details Medals: Distinguished Service Order, Volunteer Decoration and Bar, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.