Missing Great War Photo Album – John Pease – found at Batemans Bay Antiques & Collectibles Fair

Australian-FlagA missing photo album from the First World War has been uncovered at the 2015 Batemans Bay Antiques & Collectibles Fair on the south coast of New South Wales.  All available evidence points towards the creator of the souvenier album as being that of Trooper John PEASE , 1st Australian Light Horse Regiment.

The First World War Embarkation Roll of Trooper John Pease from Koorawatha in New South Wales.

The First World War Embarkation Roll of Trooper John Pease from Koorawatha in New South Wales.

Trooper John PEASE was born in Koorawatha, New South Wales.  He enlisted into the AIF and departed for overseas service.  John landed on the Gallipoli peninsula on the 28th August, 1915 just after the August Offensive, but was evacuated due to Diptheria the following month.  He boarded the Hospital Ship ‘Maheno’ on 1st October 1915 bound for Heliopolis.

John PEASE transferred to the 13th Field Company Engineers in March 1916 as a part of the AIF reorganisation and served in France.  However, he was again struck down with a lung condition and was sent to convalesce in the United Kingdom.  Many photos of Scottish nurses appear in the album which lends weight to the possibility of this album belonging to John.

A striking image of an Australian soldier, believed to be Trooper John Pease from Koorawatha, New South Wales.  Markings on the photograph indicate it was captured in Cowra, near Koorawatha.  Interestingly, the buttons on his great coat bear the British crest.

A striking image of an Australian soldier, believed to be Trooper John Pease from Koorawatha, New South Wales. Markings on the photograph indicate it was captured in Cowra, near Koorawatha. Interestingly, the buttons on his great coat bear the British crest.

The historically significant album was displayed for sale by a dealer who had purchased the journal from a collector in Temora.  Whilst the name John PEASE does not appear clearly in the album, a thorough inspection revealed the service number 889 and the name “J. Pe _ _” which is written on the inside cover.  This writing has been covered by a hand written note, possibly written by John himself and the name is barely visible.  The note states “The beginning.  Camp Sydney 1914”.  A check of his service record via the National Archives of Australia showed distinct similarities with the writing in the album and as a result, Medals Gone Missing Administrator considered there was sufficient evidence to purchase the album and conduct an investigation into its author.  It is not clear how the album came to leave John’s family; but should he be confirmed as the author of the album – there is no doubt it will become a very important piece of family history for his descendants.

The inside cover of the missing First World War photo album.  A note which is pasted to the cover obscures handwriting which appears to be the service number 889 and the first portion of John's name.

The inside cover of the missing First World War photo album. A note which is pasted to the cover obscures handwriting which appears to be the service number 889 and the first portion of John’s name.

Whilst inquiries are continuing, an attempt has been made to locate direct descendants of John PEASE via Ancestry.com and it is hoped that this mystery will be solved.

This is the first year that the Eurobodalla Antiques and Collectibles Fair has been held and should this album be confirmed as that of Trooper John PEASE, it will be a wonderful result for event organisers.  Quite often, historic photo albums such as this are broken up and the photos sold individually by militaria dealers.  Especially when the owner/author of the album is not clear.  (Please CLICK HERE to read the story of a First World War German album which was broken up for individual sale by one dealer – a portion of which was saved by Medals Gone Missing).  Medals Gone Missing is very grateful to the wonderful gentleman who recognised the historic value of this particular Great War album and kept it intact.

Medals Gone Missing is very excited about the possible return of this album and is hopeful that confirmation is confirmed with the kind assistance of Ancestry Australia.

Eurobodalla-Antiques-&-Coll

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About gary

Gary Traynor is Administrator of the Militaria based website MEDALSGONEMISSING. The aim of this "NOT FOR PROFIT" website is to reunite families, with lost War Medals and other items of militaria which may have been awarded or issued to their ancestors. What Gary refers to as their "lost heritage". He has been actively involved in the preservation of Militaria and the researching of Military History for well over 29 years. During his travels, he has conducted numerous study trips to Gallipoli, The Western Front, Kokoda and many other major battle sites around the world. He was a member of the Australian Army Reserve (UNSWR & 4/3 RNSWR) and served for 23 years with the New South Wales Police Force. He was also priveleged to have served as a Volunteer Guide at the Australian War Memorial for a number of years. Gary now conducts tours of the Gallipoli Battlefields and the Kokoda Track in New Guinea. He leads the field in his knowledge of the beach head battlefields encompassing Buna, Gona & Sanananda. Medalsgonemissing is a website that will assist you in locating your family's lost war medals and other awards. If you have an ancestor who served in any of the British Commonwealth Armed Services at any time - and whose medals are lost/stolen or simply missing....then so long as the medals are out there - this site will help you to locate them. However the site also contains articles of interest in relation to Military History, War Memorials & Uniforms / kit. Please explore our website as there is sure to be something of interest to you.
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