Postcard with black and white photograph of a World War I graveyard in Europe, with a large board that lists the names, regiment and date of death of those buried there. On the back is a note in blue ink: 'Edgar James McCarthy/died of wounds/ received at Baul/ 22.4.17'.

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 Batallion, 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 font.

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

Postcard with black and white photograph of a graveyard with a sign of those who died and are buried underneath the white crosses seen in the image.

Physical Description

Front has a black and white photograph of a graveyard with seven white crosses visible and a sign listing those who are buried there. Verso has printed text including Austral Kodak where the stamp would be placed. There are paper remnants that appear to be where the postcard was glued to something at another time. There is also handwritten text in blue ball point pen.

More Information