Newsreel Footage of O’Meara VC at Buckingham Palace in 1917

In researching my upcoming biography of Martin O’Meara VC, I’ve spent lots of time looking through archives (and the like) for scraps of evidence from which his life can be pieced together. The easy stuff has already been unearthed, and I’m now digging deeper for the more obscure stuff.

A search through old British Pathe newsreel footage from 1917 (now available on YouTube) revealed a gem of evidence… actual newsreel footage of O’Meara receiving his VC medal from the King at Buckingham Palace in July 1917. I believe that it’s O’Meara as only a few Australian’s were there getting VCs on the day that the footage was filmed in July 1917 and this one (go to the 21 second mark at this link) is the only one who fits his description, height, AIF colour patch etc. As he walks towards the camera after receiving his VC his dark eyes and mustache are apparent, and a head-and-shoulders picture published a day later in a London newspaper shows him looking almost identical.

Finding something like this makes all the hard work worthwhile….