Seven 'Magpie' cigarette cards : Sergeant W M Bunting, 22 Battalion, AIF

Place Oceania: Australia, Victoria, Melbourne
Accession Number RELAWM16482.005
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Photographic paper
Maker Rose Stereograph Co
Place made Australia: Victoria, Armadale
Date made c 1922
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Seven cards from the Official War Photographs series published by Magpie Cigarettes. These cards are No. 14, 'In Difficulties Near Ypres', No. 23 'Australia's Prime Minister Visits The Front, Sept. 1918', No. 24 '"Hellfire Corner " Near Ypres, Sept. 1917', No. 28 'Material For Wire Entanglements', No. 34 'Entrance to Bellicourt Tunnel', No. 39 'Australian Light Horse Near Esdud' and No. 68 'Unveiling Memorial. 1st Aust. Div. Pozieres'. The back of each card bears the title 'Magpie Cigarettes' and 'Copies of this Official War Photograph and 20,000 others can be obtained from the AUSTRALIAN WAR MUSEUM Exhibition Buildings, Melbourne', followed by a price list.

History / Summary

Seven cigarette cards collected by W M Bunting after the First World War.

William Merkara Bunting was born 'On the High Seas' in 1894. He was working as a labourer when he enlisted in the AIF on 9 July 1915. After initial training he was assigned to 22 Battalion as a private, with the service number 2262, and embarked with the 4th Reinforcements aboard HMAT Hororata (A20) at Melbourne on 27 September 1915.

Bunting undertook further training in Egypt. In March 1916 his unit sailed for France. While serving in France Bunting's father, William Edward Bunting, also enlisted in the AIF at 43 years of age. He would sail for France with 14 Battalion in August 1916, but after a period of illness returned to Australia in June 1917 for home service.

William Merkara Bunting's first major action with 22 Battalion was at Pozieres as part of 2 Division. For his actions during the battle he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

On 7 August, the battalion was withdrawn to rest, and during this period Bunting was promoted to lance corporal. Towards the end of the month his unit was again in action around Pozieres. On 26 August he sustained gunshot wounds to his right thigh and abdomen. He was evacuated to England. After his discharge from hospital and a period of leave he returned to the battalion in March 1917.

In July 1917 Bunting was promoted to corporal. By this time the allied operational focus had shifted to the Ypres sector in Belgium. On 4 October 1917 Bunting's unit fought in the battle of Broodseinde Ridge, where he was wounded for a third time, sustaining shrapnel wounds to his hand and left leg. He was again hospitalised in England, returning to his unit in May 1918.

In August 1918 Bunting was promoted to sergeant. He was serving with 22 Battalion when this unit fought in the AIF's last action of the war at Montbrehain on 5 October.

Bunting left in England in April 1919 for Australia, arriving in Melbourne on 30 May 1919.