Army biscuit Christmas card : Private C R Christmas, 5 Field Ambulance, AIF

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Accession Number REL/00918
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Foodstuff – dry
Maker Christmas, Cecil Robert
Huntley & Palmers
Place made Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli, United Kingdom: England
Date made c 1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Damaged army hard tack biscuit. Impressed by the manufacturer on the front is '[H]UNTLEY / [A]RMY NO. [ILLEGIBLE] / ME'. The edges of the biscuit have mostly broken off. The only written section which is fully legible is the one remaining complete edge which reads 'OLD FRIENDS ANZAC' in black ink. The back of the biscuit carries a message written in graphite pencil or black ink, some of which is illegible. It reads 'M[erry] Christ[mas] [Illegible] / Prosperous New Y[ear] / from Old friends / Anzac / Gallipoli 1915 / [P]te C.R. Christmas MM / 3903 / [illegible] / AIF AAMC'. the letters 'MM' [Military Medal] have been added later in blue ink and Private Christmas's name has been traced over in the same ink.

History / Summary

3903 Sergeant Cecil Robert Christmas was working as a commercial traveller when he enlisted in the AIF on 3 May 1915 and was assigned to the 5th Field Ambulance. He embarked from Sydney aboard HMAT Ajana on 31 May 1915. He took part in the Gallipoli campaign from mid August until December when the ANZAC area was evacuated.

In March 1916 he travelled with his unit to France. On 14 November 1916, Christmas was wounded in the right thigh and was invalided to England. He was awarded the Military Medal for service at Pozieres on 6 August, which was gazetted on 8 December 1916. After he recovered from his wounds he returned to Australia 13 February 1917 on board the Hospital Ship Benalla while undertaking nursing duties. He may have continued to serve aboard the Benalla until April 1918 when he may have granted leave, but his service records are unclear.