Topp, Samuel James (Jim), (Lieutenant, b.1880 - d.1917)

Accession Number 1DRL/0583
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement 1 wallet: 2.5 cm
Object type Letters
Maker Topp, Samuel James (Jim)
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Date made 1915-1917
Access Open
Related File This file can be copied or viewed via the Memorial’s Reading Room. AWM93 12/11/50
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 service of Lieutenant Samuel James (Jim) Topp, 58 Battalion AIF, Egypt, France, 1915-1917. Collection consists of two bound volumes of carbon typed extracts from letters written by Lt Topp to his wife, Gladys Ellen Topp. Each volume is almost identical in content except for the inclusion of two letters of condolence in one volume and a studio portrait of Lieutenant Topp in the other. One volume was kept by his wife, the other (with the portrait) was sent in 1917 by Mrs Topp to Mr A C C Holtz, General Manager of the Melbourne Argus newspaper, for whom Topp had worked prior to enlistment. The letters describe the voyage to Egypt for further training, comments on active service in France, promotions, the defeat of the first conscription referendum, and the battalion being at half strength due to heavy casualties. The collection also contains four letters written in 1915 by Lt Topp to Mr Holtz.

History / Summary

Biographical note: Samuel James Topp was born in Caulfield on 12 May 1880 to Horatio and Louisa Mary Topp. Prior to enlistment Topp was a clerk working in the Advertising Department of the Melbourne Argus newspaper. He enlisted in the AIF as a private in July 1915 and married shortly after. He embarked for overseas with the 11th Reinforcement of the 6th Battalion from Melbourne on 11 October 1915 aboard HMAT Nestor. He trained in Egypt before being sent to France. Serving with 58th Battalion Lieutenant Topp was killed in action at Bullecourt on 12 May 1917 (his 37th birthday) when leading an attack on the German line. He is commemorated on the Villers Bretonneux Memorial, France.