McCague, John Thomas (Private, b.1882 - d.1918)

Accession Number AWM2018.812.2
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 1 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Letter, Postcard
Maker McCague, John Thomas
Place made At sea, France, Ireland
Date made 1917-1918
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 7624 Private John Thomas McCague, 8th Infantry Battalion, France, 1918.

Collection consists of seven postcards and six letters (with 3 envelopes) written by McCague to his wife Winnie, between 1917 and 1918. One additional lettercard is written to another brother, George, at home in Victoria. The postcards sent to his sister and wife are embroidered with sentiments of love. The six letters to his wife take the form of one long continual and very detailed description of his time since embarkation from Port Melbourne in December 1917. While on board ship, he describes sea sickness, sea life - whales and flying fish, the ship's daily routine, meals and food, accommodation and bedding, entertainment - sports and games such as apple bobbing. After arriving in Egypt he describes the town of Port Suez, contact with his brother Hugh, the Valley of Nile, local life and the rural landscape, and the trip to Alexandria. Continuing from Alexandria by ship he describes the coast lines of countries they pass, such as Italy and Greece and gives a detailed description of their passage through the Corinth Canal; he also describes spending Christmas 1917 onboard. His passage through Italy is described, passing from Taranto in the south through Bari and up the west coast of Italy to Montmelian in the French Alps. This letter is very detailed and describes the rural landscape under a blanket of snow. One of his letters gives an account of his time in England and Ireland in early 1918, recuperating from measles where he took the opportunity to visit with relatives.

John Thomas McCague was one of three brothers who served in the First World War. Private McCague died in France on 9 August 1918, after being wounded by a fragment of shell during action near Rosieres. One brother, James Joseph McCague, died of shrapnel wounds on 3 November 1917. His other brother, Hugh Alexander McCague, enlisted in 1917 and survived the war to return home in April 1919. See also AWM2019.1218.2.