[Sydney], Vale & Pearson [for Hugh D. McIntosh], 1919.
An autograph book, oblong octavo, bound in limp overlapping suede, with the title, an illustration of the Victoria Cross, and the name of the original recipient of the album (Clifford H. Hay) in gilt on the front cover; suede a little stained (mainly at the rear); expert conservation to the front joint and the ends of the spine; trifling loss to the corner-tips; front inner hinge neatly reinforced, with trifling blemishes to the gutter of the next opening where some clear tape has been removed; a very good copy, with the signed leaves in excellent condition.
The contents comprise a printed presentation leaf ('With the Compliments of The Hon. Hugh D. McIntosh, M.L.C.'), the title leaf, the bill of fare, and a short poem by Frank Morton, 'To These Brave' (all four leaves printed in gilt, versos blank), and 52 blank leaves (all edges deckled).
A contemporary newspaper account of the dinner records there were 27 VC winners present at the dinner. The recto of each of the first 21 blank leaves has been signed by attendees at the dinner; 16 are VC winners (one of whom signed twice). In alphabetical order, the VC winners are A.C. Borella, M.V. Buckley, G. Cartwright, W.M. Currey, P. Davey, W. Dunstan, A.C. Hall, J.P. Hamilton, G.M. Ingram, R.R. Inwood (signed twice), T.J.B. Kenny, A.D. Lowerson, W. Peeler, J. Ryan, P.V. Storkey, and W. Symons. The other signatures are A.R. Barclay, George Fuller, Sir Charles Mackellar, and an indecipherable one from a veteran (of the 3rd Light Horse in Gallipoli and Egypt, and the 2nd AIF Brigade in France and Belgium). The printed presentation leaf is signed by Hugh McIntosh, William Holman (Premier of NSW), and Henry Teesdale Smith; the 'Australian Dictionary of Biography' will supply much interesting context! The last leaf carries the inkstamp of the Commanding Officer of HMAS 'Anzac' [Commander Michael Devine]; it has been 'Signed at Sea' by him on 14 February 2018. Provenance: Clifford H. Hay, with his name printed in gilt in the bottom left-hand corner of the front cover. Clifford Henderson Hay (1878-1949), was a NSW public servant: in March 1916 he became secretary and permanent head of the Premier's Department. We have not traced another example of this album.