Alternative Name(s): Postcard

Black and white studio photograph of Australian serviceman, Private Edgar James McCarthy, service no. 5422, 8th Battalion, A.I.F., taken in 1916, during World War I.

Edgar McCarthy was a 19-year-old labourer from Rosedale, Gippsland, Victoria, when he enlisted on 4 February 1916. As he was under 21 years of age, his father Henry gave his consent. Edgar was placed in the 8th Battalion, 17th Reinforcements (no. 5422) on 19 January and embarked for England on 4 April on the HMAT Euripides. He was shipped to France on 30 December 1916 and joined his unit on 4 February 1917 and his battalion on the 7th - probably in preparation for moving to the front. He was wounded in action on 16 April, including a fractured back and a severe head injury ('SW Head' may refer to a shell wound, although another document in his file refers to a gunshot wound). Edgar died at 8:40pm on 22 April at the 13th General Hospital, Boulogne, France. He had survived as little as ten weeks at the front.

Eight years later records in the National Archives indicate that his mother was 'still a patient at the Kew Hospital for the Insane'. Alice's incarceration was not related to the death of her son - she had been admitted there in 1899, probably as a result of post-natal depression. It is not known to whom this and other items relating to Edgar was given, although a note in the Museum's supplementary file says that the donation of his material was 'handed to me (possibly the donor) from his mother, Alice McCarthy, about 1950'.

Description of Content

Black and white studio photograph of Australian serviceman, full-length, withpainted backdrop depicting a rural scene with a river and boat in the foreground.

Physical Description

Black and white photograph on paper.

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