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The 40th Battalion, Tasmania's own

Article about: I picked up a named pair of binoculars the other day. There isn't anything that special about them, they're not even especially well made. But the name on the case reveals a rather interesti

  1. #1

    Default The 40th Battalion, Tasmania's own

    I picked up a named pair of binoculars the other day. There isn't anything that special about them, they're not even especially well made. But the name on the case reveals a rather interesting history!

    The lid of the case bears the inscription... H. L. Barclay. Lieut, 40th Bt A. I. F

    This is of course the famous 'Tasmania's Own' which was raised in February 1916. The only markings on the binoculars are 'Made in France' and TASMANIA 80 which is inscribed on one of the focusing barrels. Lt Barclay is mentioned several times in the battalion history... Although the battalion history records his name as H. C Barclay in this entry, it is a miss-print which is corrected where he is mentioned later. There was only one officer named Barclay in the 40th.

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    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  2. #2

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    Nice find Steve!....
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  3. #3

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    WOW!! What a find Steve.

    John.
    I specialize in M1 carbines and Lugers.

  4. #4
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    Interesting find friend.

  5. #5

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    Missed this post. What a great find

    The Barclays are still to this day a Tasmanian based family.
    Lewis McGee VC (40th battalion AIF) has a Great Great Nephew who lives no more than 5 minutes from my place here in GeorgeTown.

    If you ever feel the need to send them home (in a way) to Tasmania please PM me as I would love to add them to our local RSL museum.

    All the best

    Dave

  6. #6

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    Hi Dave,

    What is more puzzling, is how on earth did they end up in England? Maybe someone from the family was disposing of 'old junk' some years ago perhaps?
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  7. #7

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    He may have remained in the UK for some a period after the Armistance and either sold/misplaced or gifted them. The Barclays are a well off mob and time in the "Mother Country" would have been a prerequisite re being an "Colonial gentleman" in that period. I will attempt to contact the family to find out more if you wish mate.
    If you ever want to part with them PLEASE contact me mate.

    All the best Steve

    Dave

  8. #8

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    Hi Dave,

    Can you see if you can get hold of a picture of Lt Barclay? All I can promise you is that if I decide to get rid I will get in touch with either you or the museum. Failing that I will leave instructions for them to be gifted to the museum on my passing, which I hope is many years away! Please forward details of the museum to me for future reference.

    I am reluctant these days to pass on items to military museums, because some years ago I donated a fairly large collection of captured Republican items which I acquired during my last tour in Northern Ireland in 1974. The military museum in question has never displayed them. And on another note, its early days yet. But I may be writing up a set of diaries to a Private who served in W Coy, the Accrington Pals. Contracts have yet to be exchanged. But these diaries were originally offered to a military museum in Lancashire quite a few months ago. The granddaughter of the soldier in question was told by the curator they would contact her by September. Considering the contents of these diaries - which are quite incredible in places - I find it astonishing that they never bothered. So you will perhaps understand my reluctance to get involved in these museums. perhaps yours in Tasmania is better run though!
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  9. #9

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    Quote by HARRY THE MOLE View Post
    Hi Dave,

    Can you see if you can get hold of a picture of Lt Barclay? All I can promise you is that if I decide to get rid I will get in touch with either you or the museum. Failing that I will leave instructions for them to be gifted to the museum on my passing, which I hope is many years away! Please forward details of the museum to me for future reference.

    I am reluctant these days to pass on items to military museums, because some years ago I donated a fairly large collection of captured Republican items which I acquired during my last tour in Northern Ireland in 1974. The military museum in question has never displayed them. And on another note, its early days yet. But I may be writing up a set of diaries to a Private who served in W Coy, the Accrington Pals. Contracts have yet to be exchanged. But these diaries were originally offered to a military museum in Lancashire quite a few months ago. The granddaughter of the soldier in question was told by the curator they would contact her by September. Considering the contents of these diaries - which are quite incredible in places - I find it astonishing that they never bothered. So you will perhaps understand my reluctance to get involved in these museums. perhaps yours in Tasmania is better run though!
    Hi Steve,
    Mate that is a most generous offer, I'm completly lost for words.
    Our Returned Servicemen/women League clubs (RSL) are run by ex servivemen/women for ex servicemen/women. We keep the heritage/history and culture alive and well as well as looking after the needs of veterans . They are instutations in this country and have been since the early 1920's. They were set up so WW1 returned Servicemen had a place to share their experiences as they found it difficult to explain what had happened to themselves to their family and friends who had not had the same experience of war.Alot like a self help group. We carry this tradition on to this day. The blokes whom suffer from PTSD as a result of service in Iraq or Afgan would be the modern equivalents of the first war vets. It's a nobal cause IMO.
    Our RSL military museum here in Georgetown is one of the better ones in Tasmania (I'll send you some images) and the members are very very greatful re you kind offer . But don't leave us any time soon mate hey.

    If you could PM me your email address I have something you will like. It's a down load of the official AIF embarcation records which has Harry Lewis Barclays details (it won't copy sorry mate so I could'nt post on the thread). He was discharged in early 1918 at the rank of Captain. I will find more for you for sure Steve. I'll chase up the family and attempt to get you an image of Harry as requested mate..

    Again from the myself and the other members of the Georgetown RSL thank you so very much for your generosity and understanding. If there is anything we can do for you just ask mate hey.

    Cheers mate and all the best

    Dave and the Georgetown RSL Club board and members.

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