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A vintage gelatin silver photograph (93 x 169 mm, on the original mount, 170 x 253 mm) of SS Medic. The photographer is credited on the papered cardboard mount (Exchange Studios, Sydney). SS Medic had a long and impressive connection with Australia and war. In September 1899, on the return leg of her maiden voyage, she carried Australian troops to the Boer War
In November 1914, A7 HMAT Medic was in the convoy that departed Albany with the First Detachment of the Australian and New Zealand Imperial Expeditionary Forces. In September 1928 she sailed from New York with the Wilkins-Hurst Antarctic Expedition on board, Wilkins being none other than the South Australian-born Sir George Hubert Wilkins (1888-1958), war correspondent and photographer, polar explorer, naturalist, geographer, climatologist and aviator (Australian Dictionary of Biography). In September 1942, converted to an oil tanker, she was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic by a German submarine. ^This photograph would appear to have been taken before the outbreak of the First World War, but the image seems to have had a long shelf life. This particular example improves on the ship's impressive military history by the addition of the signatures of ten Australian Victoria Cross winners who returned to Australia on her in late 1918. The following information comes from a detailed online post about Private John Carroll VC by Anthony Staunton (www.forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl): 'By 28 July 1918 ... 38 of the 63 VC awards to the AIF had been gazetted. Ten of the awards were posthumous and Captain Tubb who was awarded the VC at Lone Pine on Gallipoli had been killed in action in Belgium on 20 September 1917. Seven of the surviving 27 recipients returned to Australia between September 1915 and April 1918 mostly because of wounds. In the five weeks between 16 August and 23 September 1918 Carroll was one of 15 Australian VC recipients who returned to Australia for furlough and to help recruiting for the AIF. Carroll was one of ten Australian VC recipients who embarked on 24 August aboard HMAT Medic'. These ten men signed the mount of this photograph of HMAT Medic. ^The photograph, mount and signatures have subsequently sustained some water damage, resulting in some stains and minor loss to the surface of the photograph, some stains to the mount, and loss of some of the paper surface of the mount, taking with it two signatures (leaving offset ink impressions) and damaging a third. In spite of these blemishes, it is a rarity of consequence. Clockwise from the top centre, the signatures are John Carroll (33rd Battalion); John Whittle (12th Battalion); Reginald Inwood (10th Battalion); Jorgan Jensen (50th Battalion); John James Dwyer (4th Machine Gun Company); Leonard Keysor (1st Battalion); William Ruthven (22nd Battalion); Walter Peeler (3rd Pioneer Battalion) (signature now missing); Thomas Kenny (2nd Battalion) (signature now missing); and Stanley McDougall (47th Battalion) (signature partially missing).
      [Bookseller: Michael Treloar Antiquarian Booksellers]
Last Found On: 2017-10-12           Check availability:      Biblio    

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