Gain, Alfred Cecil (Private, b.1897 - d.1938)

Accession Number PR03648
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 10 cm; Wallet/s: 4
Object type Letter, Card, Souvenir, Postcard, Souvenir, Photograph
Maker Gain, Alfred Cecil
Place made Australia, Egypt, France, United Kingdom
Date made 1915-1938
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Copying Provisions Copying permitted subject to physical condition

Collection relating to the First World War service of 3709 Private Alfred Cecil Gain, 2 Division Signal Company, Egypt, France, Belgium, United Kingdom , 1915-1938.

Wallet one:
Consists of forty five letters spanning the period 28 December 1915 to 20 February 1918, written by Private Gain to his parents and a person named Stan. The letters begins with Gain’s embarkation aboard A60 HMAT Aeneas and a description of the Christmas he spent aboard the ship and go on to describe his training in Egypt and transfer to France. The majority of letters discuss time spent in the Somme region, with frequent mentions of German prisoners of war, the weather, political issues including the conscription referendum, and movements behind the lines. Also within these letters are descriptions of his wounding and being sent to Camiers for treatment.

Wallet two:
- Folder one consists of thirty seven letters spanning the period 25 February 1918 to 15 February 1919. The letters are all written by Private Gain to his parents. They discuss several topics including: leave in Paris and the United Kingdom, including to Edinburgh, Bath, and Stonehenge; time spent behind the lines in Normandy completing administrative tasks; hospitalisation for a skin condition; the armistice; the possibility of being part of an occupation force in Germany; the request by his parents obtaining him sheep grazing land as part of the Soldier Settlement Scheme; and the prospect of demobilisation.
- Folder two consists of two maps, one depicting North-West Europe dated February 1915 and issued by the War Office; and one ‘ Petit Plan de Bruxelles & Faubourgs (Small Map of Brussels and Faubourg)’, c.1917, published by A de Boeck.

Wallet three:
Consists of one grey covered, string-bound album, with an embossed and coloured image of daisies in a Grecian pot on the cover. The album contains forty eight images from Gain’s First World War experience. The album begins with images of Gallipoli, including Brighton Beach, ANZAC Cove, and Shrapnel Gully; then continues with images from other places in Turkey, Mudros, Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine. The images include many war-related subjects, such as war trophies; others are largely touristic in nature.

Wallet four:
- Folder one consists of twelve loose photographs. Subjects included are: several family portraits, presumably of the Gain family; one image of a unit; one of a destroyed Whippet tank; one of the Amiens Gun (REL/19643.001) aboard its railway transport carriage; and several other war-related scenes.
- Folder two consists of one business card for F C Tyler, manufacturer of ostrich feathers, plumes and boas, South Africa; one Christmas card of unknown date and origin, signed ‘Stan’; one Second Division Signal Company Christmas pamphlet, dated 1916, with caricatures of members of the company and other illustrations relating to their service; one tourist pamphlet for the city of Bath; and one tourist guide for Paris (cover missing).
- Folder three consists of thirty five loose postcards, and one bound booklet of twenty one postcards. The bound postcards consist entirely of views of Paris. The remaining loose postcards consist of scenes, cartoons, and one silk Christmas themed postcard. These loose postcards originate from various locations including France, Egypt, Scotland, England, and Belgium. Most postcards are unused, all are unstamped, and some contain short messages relating to the theme that they depict.
- Folder four consists of one letter written by General Rawlinson to the Fourth Army thanking them for their work in the Somme region, dated 14 October 1918; one ‘special order’ from Lt General Birdwood to First ANZAC troops, relaying a message from Major McConaghy congratulating them on the capture of the Hindenburg Line, dated 10 May 1917; one short, typed history of Alfred Cecil Gain; one facsimile of an article from the Australian Law Journal discussing the legal personalities who died in the Kyeema crash on 29 October, 1938; and a partial facsimile of the ‘Daily Telegraph’, dated 26 October 1938 discussing the Kyeema crash, in which Gain was killed.

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