REL41099
ID number REL41099
Title Map satchel : Major General G A Vasey
Collection Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Maker Unknown (Maker)
Date made c 1939-1944
Physical description
  • Canvas
  • Celluloid
  • Nickel-plated brass

Description

Khaki canvas map satchel and document case, with fold over flap secured by two press studs, and two internal heavy clear celluloid inserts to protect the contents. The back of the case is reinforced with an 'H' shaped steel and brass frame and also bears a self fabric carry handle, which threads through a brass suspension hook. The sides of the satchel fasten with two press studs. A further stud on each side allows the lower section of the case to be folded back and secured to reveal maps or documents held behind the protective celluloid. The top flap has angled mitred corners, and carries a number of self fabric holders inside for pens, pencils and erasers.

Summary

George Alan Vasey, a professional soldier, was born on 29 March 1895. He graduated from RMC Duntroon in 1915, and during the First World War served with 4 and 22 Field Artillery Brigades, and as brigade major of 11 Infantry Brigade.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was posted to the 6th Division in the Middle East. In March 1941 he took command of 19 Infantry Brigade, which he led in the fighting through Greece and Crete, also taking overall command of Australian forces involved in the defence of Crete.

After returning to Australia in early 1942, Vasey was promoted to major general and made deputy Chief of the General Staff. In September, he gained command of the 6th Division, then fighting the Japanese in Papua. Soon afterwards, however, he was transferred to lead the 7th Division in New Guinea, through the fighting at Gona, Sanananda, Nadzab, Lae and the Ramu Valley.

By mid 1944, his health had deteriorated to such an extent that he was evacuated to Australia, and not expected to survive, but in early 1945 he had recovered sufficiently to be appointed to command of 6 Division. While flying to assume this new command on 5 March, his Hudson aircraft crashed into the sea off Cairns and all on board were killed.

This map or document satchel was used by General Vasey during his Second World War service.