Trench art souvenir watch stand, 17 Battalion AIF : Mrs M A Rattigan, Anzac Buffet, London
|Title||Trench art souvenir watch stand, 17 Battalion AIF : Mrs M A Rattigan, Anzac Buffet, London|
|Maker||Caple, Francis James|
|Date made||c 1918-1919|
Trench art watch stand with a wooden base, the front of which is cut sloping upward. A thin layer of brass covers the top of the base. An upright bullet and cartridge is attached to each end of the base by means of a small bolt attached to the cartridge head which passes through the wooden base where it is secured by a recessed wing nut. A map of mainland Australia, cut from brass from a shell case is auspended between the bullets by two pieces of shaped metal soldered to the bullets and the back of the map. Western Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria are shown by engraved lines indicating state and territory boundaries. Also engraved into the map is the text ' TO / MRS RATTIGAN / from / 17th BATTALION A.I.F. / FRANCE / F.J. CAPLE'.
This trench art souvenir was made by 505 Driver Francis James Caple as a gift from the 17th Battalion to Mrs Minnie Augusta Rattigan, one of the founders of the Anzac Buffet in London during the First World War. During the early years, Mrs Rattigan ran the Buffet two days a week from 6am to 10.30pm. The Buffet was established by the London branch of the Australian Natives Association - an organisation of ex-patriot Australians - and was opened in late 1915. It provided free meals and entertainment to Australian servicemen in London. The Buffet was originally located at 130 Horseferry Road until September 1916, when it was relocated to 94 Victoria Road. The staff at the Buffet usually fed and entertained 1000 Australian servicemen a day. In addition to serving meals, the Anzac Buffet had a billiard room, reading room and music room.