This week’s object is a rare, historic and artistic example of how one family sought to come to terms with the loss of their only child in the Great War 1914-1918.
The leather bound album, with its faded maroon cover, contains photographs taken by Signaller JC Campbell and typescripts of two letters written by Captain Mervin Higgins 8th Australian Light Horse AIF during WWI.
Captain Higgins survived Gallipoli and went on to serve in the Sinai desert. He was killed in action at Magdhaba on 23 December 1916. His father Mr Justice Higgins first attempted to have a headstone erected over his son's grave but this failed when it became apparent that the location of the grave site was uncertain and in fact lost. Justice Higgins then has a small number, possibly as few as six, memorial books made. It seems likely that this copy was given to the 8th Light Horse Association after the war and presented to 8th/13th Victorian Mounted Rifles when the 8th Association closed.