New photo of Martin O’Meara VC added to War Memorial collection

Well, it’s not exactly new as it was taken in September 1916. But it IS new to the Australian War Memorial and is a great addition to the very limited material on Martin O’Meara VC that exists.


It was taken in September 1916 (probably between 10-16 September) and shows O’Meara being congratulated by fellow patients at the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth after receiving news of his Victoria Cross. The men are all wearing the common ‘hospital blues’ uniform. The man to O’Meara’s right (shaking his hand) bears a resemblance to Albert Jacka VC who was in Wandsworth around the same time (can anybody confirm if it is Jacka?).

The photo was recently donated to the Memorial by O’Meara’s relative Noreen O’Meara. The Memorial’s page for the photo is

Another photo already in the War Memorial’s collection (see below) looks like it was taken at the same time.




Remembering the first convoy… and becoming Australian.

This weekend’s commemoration of the departure of the first convoy of ships carrying Australian and New Zealand soldiers from Albany here in Western Australia represents a defining moment in Australia’s history. The men (and a few women) who sailed 100 years ago were the pioneers of a new Australian spirit and identity.

One of the most interesting themes is the way that conflict created a unique Australian identity… a few British history books have described the UK-born Australian soldiers as British-born soldiers fighting with the Australians, whilst the Australian perspective is that the were all Australians irrespective of where born. The ANZAC tradition that emerged included everybody who served, not just Australian-born men and women.

The Australian War Memorial has an interesting page on the first convoy here.