Image copyright: Copyright expired - public domain,
Public Domain Mark This image is in the Public Domain

ID number P09320.001
Collection Photograph
Object type Black & white - Print silver gelatin
Photographer Unknown


Passport photograph and attached signature of 7478 Private Lancelot Eldin de Mole, 10th Battalion AIF. A noted inventor, de Mole is famous for his idea for a tracked armoured vehicle. In 1912 he sent sketches of his design to the British War Office but was notified the next year that his idea had been rejected. He embarked for active service on 26 September 1917 and took a model of his vehicle to England with him. He was able demonstrate it to the British Inventions Committee, which recommended it to the Tank Board. However nothing came of this and by this time British designed tanks were already being used on the Western Front. Private de Mole saw active service in France from 1918 until the end of the war and in 1919 submitted a claim to the British royal commission on awards to inventors. He was unsuccessful but was awarded £965 for expenses and made an honorary corporal. In 1920 he was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE). A model of his vehicle is held in the Australian War Memorial's collecion. (see J00300)