At Sea, SS 'Port Macquarie', .
A menu card (155 × 108 mm), comprising a printed header and the processed manuscript bill of fare (recto only).
Card creased where folded and lightly marked; a very good copy.
Provenance: Lieutenant Ivan Schroder Webley, AFC, with his signature at the head of the menu. The blank verso has been signed by 25 fellow passengers on this ship (renamed HMAT 'Port Macquarie' for the duration of the war) returning troops to Australia. Not least of them is C.T. Madigan (and his wife). Renmark-born Cecil Thomas Madigan (1889-1947) went, in 1911, 'as a Rhodes scholar to England, but deferred the appointment when he was selected by (Sir) Douglas Mawson as meteorologist for the Australasian Antarctic Expedition.... In the summer of 1912-13 Madigan led the eastern sledging party which traversed the sea-ice and coastline of King George V Land, a round journey of 500 miles (805 km), which took two months. Overcoming many near-disasters, the party collected significant data on the ice, and discovered a coal-bearing rock formation. His account is in his chapter of Mawson's "The Home of the Blizzard" (London, 1915). Madigan's journey had coincided with Mawson's southern sledging party during which his two companions perished and Mawson struggled back alone to base camp only to miss the relief ship. Madigan led the group which had remained behind to wait for Mawson's return or to mount a search for him. Madigan received the King's Polar Medal in 1914.... After one term at Oxford in 1914 he joined the Royal Engineers, 76th Field Company, Guards Division, becoming captain in 1916. He served in France and was twice mentioned in dispatches.... [On] 20 August 1915 in London Madigan had married Wynnis Knight Wollaston of Adelaide; he returned to the front immediately, was wounded, and after recuperating went back to France in May 1916' ('Australian Dictionary of Biography'). After demobilization he returned to Magdalen College, 'taking first-class honours in geology and winning blues in rowing and boxing. In 1920 he went as assistant government geologist to the Sudan where he first encountered deserts and the use of camels in geological field operations. He returned in 1922 to the University of Adelaide as lecturer in geology, a post he held until his death'.