A vintage gelatin silver photograph (visible image size approximately 220 × 1605 mm), matted and behind glass in a vintage moulded wooden frame (external dimensions an impressive 340 × 1715 mm).
The photograph has a few small spots and marks (chiefly to the upper corners), and a faint damp stain near the left-hand corner; the frame is a little dusty, with a few spots to the underside of the glass; overall in very good condition.
The photograph is captioned on the backing board as follows: '29t & 32d Btn A.I.F., 1914-1918. Taken out side Sars Poterie'. Both battalions saw heavy fighting on the Western Front and suffered extensive casualties. 'In late 1918 the AIF numbers were severely depleted, and it was decided to consolidate each brigade by the reduction in the numbers of battalions in the brigades by one. On October 11th Lieutenant Colonel John McArthur, the CO of the 29th Battalion announced to his assembled officers that they were to be merged with the 32nd Battalion. This was a bitter blow to the personnel of the only purely Victorian battalion in the brigade, who had fought with such great valour throughout the war. They were allowed though to continue to wear their colour-patch' (R.R. Freeman: 'Second to None. A Memorial History of the 32nd Battalion AIF, 1915-1919'). The men in this photograph can be seen wearing the colour patches of both units. Regarding the taking of this photograph, Freeman attributes to Private Albert Vinall the following comments, dated 19 February 1919 (so they can only refer to this very image): 'We had our photo taken this afternoon. The whole Battalion was taken in a group. The camera was a patent auto camera. The whole Battalion sat in a circle and the camera which is a patent revolving camera so it gradually revolves around the circle to the point from which the camera started to photograph'. By February 1919, when this photograph was taken, many members of the battalion had already returned to Australia.