Sunday, August 06, 2006

A rare find...

So, I'm showing off the awesome speed of our new cable connection to Mum, and to do that we're surfing around the Australian War Memorial website- an absolutely splendid online record of all soldiers, actions, locales, medals and so on relating to Australians at war.

I accidently searched across the "collections database" for my Grandfather Trooper Thomas Hugh Sarre (instead of personel), and I found the following (second) pic. It's a photo no-one in my family (to my knowledge) has ever seen. It has been with the War Memorial (or in other war related storage) for 90 years.

Here's the photo we have from before he went to war (from approx 1914):

And here is the "lost pic" from 1918:

ID Number: B01153
Maker: Unknown
Place made: Syria: Lebanon, Beirut Tripoli Area- Tripoli
Date made: c December 1918
Physical description: Black & white
Summary: Portrait of Trooper T H Sarre MM, 10th Australian Light Horse Regiment.

I'll post the one other pic we have of him in uniform- and it's from before he went. The contrast between this second photo of Grandad - the battle hardened, recently wounded, Military medal winning soldier and the pic from before the war is as fascinating as it is depressing. He's not looking to camera in the second one- as if it no longer matters, in the second his hat is in "full hat" (ie not slouched) position/mode- a pragmatic rather than fashion statement due to the heat. He's also got his arms by his sides at attention in the first pic- but "at ease" (read: "over it") in the second. In the first he has his bandoliers (ammo storage) in place- for .303 rounds. In the end, he was a machine gunner who probably rarely used the Enfield .303, except for when he used the rather ominous bloody great bayonet just visible at his side.

My overall impression: the first pic is your classic "keen to go, where do I sign?" pic, with the second pic being the image of a man who's been through a number of awful things that he will now go home and never speak of.

...and that's exactly what he did.

read other posting about World War I and my Grandfather, Trooper Thomas Hugh Sarre

Update I:
I've ordered this photo as a print. Then I'll scan high res for others to download (family that is!)
Update II: Here are the downloads. High res 1 & 2. Choose your bandwidth wisely!

Hi res image- 9.2 Mb Warning! this is a very high res image and could take quite some time to download! Best for printing.

Medium/low res. 350Kb Low res- good for viewing on the PC etc..
posted by thr at 11:36 pm


Anonymous kristam said...

wow thomasr - what a find

7/24/2006 6:26 pm  

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