Small folding Ensignette camera : Lieutenant W G Scales, 21 Battalion AIF

Place Europe: Western Front
Accession Number REL36408
Collection type Technology
Object type Optical equipment
Physical description Enamelled metal, Glass, Metal, Paper
Maker Houghtons Ltd
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1910
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Small folding Ensignette camera. The body of the camera is black enamelled brass. The lens is attached to a folding paper bellows and extends from the camera body along four metal rails. On the face of the camera, above the aperture is stamped, "ENSIGNETTE', below the aperture is stamped 'MADE BY HOUGHTONS LTD. LONDON'. 'PATENT 28464 1907' is embossed on the face inside a circle. Embossed in an adjacent circle is the Ensign logo; being a Royal Navy ensign, on which is the word 'ENSIGN', atop a flag pole with 'BRITISH MADE' below.

History / Summary

Ensignette camera associated with the service of Lieutenant William Gordon Scales. Born in Mitta Mitta Victoria in 1895, William Gordon 'Bill' Scales was working as an axeman when he enlisted in the AIF on 12 June 1915. Private Scales embarked from Melbourne aboard HMAT Demosthenes on 16 July 1915 with 24 Battalion reinforcements. Private Scales served on Gallipoli from September 1915, until he was evacuated to Malta with dysentery in mid November. In March 1916 he went to France, and served with 24 Battalion on the Western Front through 1916. He was transferred to 21 Battalion on 11 May 1917 and promoted to second lieutenant. Scales was awarded the Military Medal for his actions during the capture of trenches near Bullecourt on 3 May 1917. In mid October 1917, he was promoted to Lieutenant. Prior to this he received a gunshot wound to his thigh resulting in the amputation of his right leg early in 1918. He returned to Australia later that year.