Group portrait of part of No 6 Officer’ Cadet Course Oxford. Identified is Second Lieutenant ...

Accession Number P09291.393
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Film original negative 120 safety base
Maker Unknown
Date made c October 1917
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Group portrait of part of No 6 Officer’ Cadet Course Oxford.

Identified is Second Lieutenant (2nd Lt) Tom Towers is in the centre of the first standing row. He originally enlisted on 6 September 1915 as 3908 Private (Pte) Tom Towers and was attached to the 9th Light Horse Regiment during November and December 1915, attended NCO School from 1 January until 13 March 1916 and then attended No 3 Officers Training School as a Sergeant (Sgt) at Royal Military College, Duntroon, Canberra during July and August 1916. He embarked with the 9th Reinforcements of the 32nd Battalion from Sydney on 21 September 1916 aboard HMAT Commonwealth for Plymouth, England. On proceeding to France to join his unit in mid-December 1916 he briefly reverted to the rank of Private before being promoted to the substantive rank of Sergeant in mid-January 1917. In late February he was hospitalised with trench feet and gas poisoning and then rejoined the unit in late April 1917. Sgt Towers was attached to the Corps Infantry School during May and June and then attended No 6 Officer Cadet Battalion in Oxford from early July until the end of October 1917 when he was appointed Second Lieutenant. 2nd Lt Towers joined his battalion at Messines, Belgium, in late November and was killed in action five days later on 4 December 1917. He was aged 35 years.

Also identified, back row second from the left is 1203 Second Lieutenant Joseph Frank Barrett DCM, 51st Battalion. A timber hewer from Capel, Western Australia, Barrett enlisted on 8 September 1914. He embarked on board Transport A55 Kyrra on 14 December 1914 and served throughout 1915 with the No 2 Australian Stationary Hospital in Egypt and Lemnos. Barrett then joined the 51st Battalion in March 1916 before transferring to the 13th Field Ambulance upon arrival in France in June 1916. In Feburary 1917, he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for "conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty" for tending to wounded under heavy fire. Barrett was selected to attend No 6 Cadets Course in Oxford, England, from early July until December 1917 when he was appointed as Second Lieutenant and returned to France and the 51st Battalion. He was reported as killed in action on 24 April 1918 at Villers-Bretonneux.