McCague, James Joseph (Corporal, b.1886 - d.1917)

Accession Number AWM2018.1218.2
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 3 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Letter, Notebook, Photograph, Card, Postcard
Maker McCague, James Joseph
Place made Australia, Egypt, France, Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Date made 1914-1917
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 612 Corporal James Joseph McCague, 4th Light Horse Regiment, 1st Cyclist Battalion and 5th Infantry Battalion, France and Belgium, 1914-1917. The collection consists of fifty four letters sent to and collected by his brother Driver Hugh Alexander McCague. The letters commence in October 1914 following McCague's enlistment and continue until April 1917. Most letters display a strong interest in news from home and the running of the family property at Sea Lake in Victoria.

Folder 1 - 1914
Five letters are dated 1914 and cover his enlistment, training, and embarkation from Melbourne.

Folder 2 - 1915
Twenty three letters (not all are complete, nor dated and some are disjointed) and two postcards are dated 1915 and written from Egypt, Gallipoli and France. Topics covered include: events at home, descriptions of the local people and sights of Egypt, the pyramids, mosques, Alexandria, Cairo, Heliopolis, camp life, training, duties, a short spell on Gallipoli and illness. One of the letters includes two photographs taken in Egypt.

Folder 3 - 1916
There are twenty letters dated 1916 plus one Christmas card, which are written from Egypt and France. Topics covered include: events at home, news of mutual friends, change of unit, arrival in France, bicycles, billets and the local people, promotion, trenches on the Somme, and leave in England spent with relatives. One of the letters include a photo of the German front line.

Folder 4 - 1917
Four letters from 1917 cover: news from home, machine gun instruction, and news of mutual friends.

Folder 5
McCague's notebook from the Brigade School he attended in 1917, which contains notes on machine gun training, platoon drill, bayonet fighting, explosives, grenades and musketry. Also included is sympathy acknowledgement card. It is not known whether this relates to James Joseph McCague or his brother John Thomas McCague.

Folder 6
Contains miscellaneous material, mainly related to pre and post war farming plus news clippings.

James Joseph McCague was one of three brothers who served in the First World War. Gunner McCague died of shrapnel wounds on 3 November 1917 in Belgium. One brother, John Thomas McCague, died in France on 9 August 1918 after being wounded by a fragment of shell during action near Rosieres. His other brother, Hugh Alexander McCague, enlisted in 1917 and survived the war to return home in April 1919. See also AWM2018.812.2