Black and white photographic print. It depicts a tank inscribed 'HMLS Campania', identified as a Mark I Male tank. It is likely to have been taken in late 1916.
The tank 'HMLS Campania' is mentioned in the diary of Sergt. Barwick, A.A. C. Coy 1st Battalion on 23 February 1917: '...went up & had a look at the Tank they had just fetched along, you would be surprised to see where these monsters can go, this one came down a steep slippery hill, crossed a muddy gulley & climbed the opposite side taking all the old trenches & holes in her track, the name of this Tank by a curious co-incidence was "H.M.L.S Campania". (Mitchell Library collection)
One of 95 black and white, and, sepia toned photographs taken in France during World War I, attached to a photograph album. Includes a few photographs of enemy prisoners and war cemetery at Warloy. Wrecked German ambulance. Some photographs of French people. Each photograph is approximately 45 x 68mm, with captions written underneath in ink. Most photographs are of Albert and surrounds so it would seem probable that most were taken during and after the Battle of the Somme (1916); some photographs, however, are dated 1917. The photographs were taken by Private John Edward Lord, 13th Field Ambulance, and brought back to Australia by him and compiled in an album at the end of World War I. The album was one of many souvenirs brought back to Australia after World War I by Lord. Part of a larger collection of photograph albums, images, documents and World War I memorabilia donated by John Lord to Museum Victoria.
Description of Content
Image of a Male tank of the Tank Corps. A serviceman stands on the tank with his hands on his hips, looking downwards. Painted on tank 'HMLS CAMPANIA'. HMLS stands for 'His Majesty's Land Ship'.
Monochrome photograph, mounted in a small, grey photograph album.
This photograph album has been very carefully prepared and the quality of the photographs is generally good. In comparison to the album ST40491, which has a number of photographs which are of poor quality, many photographs removed and written in (mostly) illegible pencil, this album was most probably compiled after the war and the photographs were probably gathered from albums such as ST40491. It could be said that ST40491 was probably not for public consumption (that is, his friends and family) but that this album (ST40495) appears to have been prepared to 'showcase' the photographs that he took. The subjects of the photographs are of trenches (both German and Allies), horses, camps, farms, graves and cemeteries, civilians, soldiers, churches and other buildings. Many of the photographs were taken around the town of Albert and are dated 1916 and 1917. From this information we can tell that Lord was involved with the Battle of the Somme when these photographs were taken. In fact the battle was fought from north of the Somme river between the towns of Albert and Arras. The Battle began on the 1 July and was called off on the 18 November 1916. The Battle of the Somme is famous for the loss of 58,000 British troops (one third of them killed) on the first day of the battle, 1 July 1916, which to this day remains a one-day record.
Donation from J. Lord, 1986
Place & Date Depicted
Type of item
68 mm (Width), 45 mm (Height)
Reference to this tank elsewhere: diary of Archibald Barwick, 3 January 1917-26 March 1917, MLMSS 1493/Box 1/Item 8, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales