One of 108 images in an album from World War I likely to have been taken by Captain Edward Albert McKenna. The album contains photographs of the 7th Battalion in Egypt.
Image of a school in Heliopolis.
The modern suburb of Heliopolis was developed in 1905 by the Heliopolis Oasis Company as an upscale district in north-eastern Cairo. According to the written inscription on the back, the postcard shows the 'electric cars' that ran between Cairo and Heliopolis.
The ancient city of Heliopolis (Greek: 'City of the Sun'; Egyptian: Iunu; Biblical: On) is the oldest city in Egypt, located to the north of the ancient capital of Memphis and believed to have been the religious capital in the Old Kingdom. The only remaining remnant of the city is the obelisk of Senwasret I (12th Dynasty, Middle Kingdom) that was originally erected outside the temple of Re-Atum.
The album relates to the service of Captain Edward Albert McKenna. McKenna, born in Castlemaine, Victoria, was a 36-year-old department manager of soft goods when he enlisted on 17 August 1914. He lived at 5 St James Buildings, William Street, Melbourne, and had been married to Elizabeth ('Lillie') Mary McKenna since 1910. He embarked from Melbourne 19 October 1914 on the HMAT Hororata, and served in the 7th Battalion Australian Infantry.
He was killed in action in Gallipoli around 25-30 April 1915, aged 37. His kit bag was unusually full, even containing seven shirts, a pillow, six towels, a travelling rug, gumboots, and pyjamas and slippers. Also amongst his possessions was a camera, although no photographic prints or albums.
He was buried at 7 Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli. His details appear on the honours roll on the web page of the Australian War Memorial.
Description of Content
Large, rectangular building located on a wide street in Heliopolis. The front facade of the building consists of a number of symmetrical arches stretching from one edge of the building to the other. At the far end of the building a tower with a dome on top is visuble.
Black and white photographic print on paper with a white border.
Donation from Mr J. Willis, circa 1986
Mr. J. Willis
Place & Date Depicted
Hand written in ink on the support underneath the photograph: 'School Heliopolis' Hand written in pencil on the back of the photograph: 'School Heliopolis'
Type of item
Image Dimensions - Photograph
84 mm (Width), 108 mm (Height)
Image Dimensions - Photograph album page
174 mm (Width), 141 mm (Height)
National Archives of Australia: McKenna Edward Albert, barcode 1949283, series B2455/1. 'Heliopolis (Cairo Suburb),' Wikipedia, at: [Link 2]">[Link 1](Cairo_suburb); accessed: August 6, 2012 'Heliopolis (Ancient),' Wikipedia, at: [Link 2]">[Link 1](ancient), accessed: August 6, 2012 Ian Shaw (ed.), The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press (Oxford, 2000); p. 86