Family Fotos #2

In 1914 thousands of young Australians signed up to join the newly-formed Australian Imperial Force to fight for King and country. My grandfather, Charles Cone, was one of them.

Up until 1901 Australia was collection of British colonies. In 1901 the colonies became Australia. Although Australians fought in the Boer War, they went as Colonial Militia, not as Australians. World War One was the first conflict in which Australia participated as a nation.

My grandfather was 24 years old when he signed up on September 1st, 1914. He and three of his mates shipped out to Egypt where they went through training prior to the Gallipoli landings on April 25th, 1915.

Three soldiers from 2nd Field Company, AIF, Egypt, 1915

The photo shows three Australian soldiers from 2nd Field Company trying to re-create a popular cartoon of the time (it showed three soldiers trying to ride a camel).

My grandfather is at the left, the other two are Wally Milligan and Walter McCubbin, though I don’t know which one is which. Milligan and McCubbin were from Traralgon, a small town 160 kilometres east of Melbourne, Victoria. My grandfather was from Glengarry, an even smaller town near Traralgon. The fourth member of the gang was George Pentland, also from Traralgon.

This is a scan from one of approximately 150 negatives. The negatives are fading. They have been kept in a leather case in the dark for most of the past 90 years but are now showing the effects of time. I am trying to scan them all so that there is a digital record for the family.

This entry was posted in family.


  1. Anthony July 12, 2009 at 6:51 pm #

    90 years… i wish we find another (digital) support that will “live” so long…
    That’s interesting to see “composition” 90 years ago

  2. Stuart August 18, 2009 at 11:25 pm #

    Wonderful Rob, thanks for sharing. Looks like everyone was enjoying themselves.

  3. Elizabeth McDonald March 4, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    What a great find. Wally Milligan is the brother of my grandfather who I never met. I have looked at a photo we have of Walter Milligan and he is definitely the guy on the right. Would love to see any other you have.

    Elizabeth McDonald

  4. Greg Hitch July 25, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    Hey would love to see the negatives as i have been putting names to faces of the 2nd field company.
    I have a couple of group shots i can send you.
    Regards Greg

  5. Greg Hitch September 23, 2013 at 7:31 am #

    Hey Rob, was wondering if you have any more shots digitised as yet. I have a couple of group shots of the 2nd field company and I am trying to put some names to faces.
    Your shots would be beneficial

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