ID numberREL41100
Collection typeHeraldry
TitleMap case : Major General G A Vasey
Object typeHeraldry
Date madeUnknown
Physical description
  • Brass
  • Canvas
  • Celluloid
  • Leather
  • Leatherette
DescriptionSmall rectangular folding khaki canvas map case which opens out into three sections. The central section is protected by a clear celluloid panel, on top of which is a piece of canvas which can be folded back to reveal the contents. There is an expanding pouch at the back bearing internal leather pouches for pens, pencils and other objects. The left section is also protected by a clear celluloid panel. Both sections of celluloid are open at the top edge and are joined together along it by a narrow canvas binding.

The open right side is reinforced with light brown leatherette, to form a firm writing surface. Across the top is a single band of black elastic to hold papers in place. The two side panels fold over the central panel, and are secured by a flap, and brown painted press stud at the top, and a short leather strap and similar stud at the lower left. Another flap at the top folds over the expanding back section. A brass ring held in place by a leather strip between the front and back flaps allows the case to be hung up or carried from a shoulder strap (not present). The left celluloid panel bears chinagraph markings in red and blue, where they once overlaid a map.
SummaryGeorge 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.

The style of press fastenings on this map case suggests that Vasey used it in both the First and Second World Wars.