By Brenton Clifford
While the Australian War Memorial has had to close its galleries and exhibitions for a time, our curatorial teams are still hard at work. Our Digitised Collections team has been busily cataloguing and uploading material all throughout this period.
Recently, we were cataloguing collection 2DRL/0144, “Extracts from the letters of Private Robert Mactier VC”. Private Mactier fought on the Western Front in the First World War. A company runner in the 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion, Mactier was awarded the only Victoria Cross for the battalion during the battle for Mont St Quentin, when he charged four German machine-gun posts, eliminating the threat from three of them. You can read more in his profile on the Memorial website.
In reading Private Mactier's letters, we found mention that his unit had been held in quarantine for the mumps. This obviously resonated with us in the current circumstances!