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.
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.