On Sunday 02 November 2014 I jumped online as a registered bidder of a Book Auction: The Stuart Braga Collection of Australian Military History held by the reputable Michael Treloar Antiquarian Booksellers. This impressive collection was up for auction and contained a huge selection of Australia’s military history to the end of the First World War including many scarce original battalion histories, rare printed ephemera, memorabilia, photographs, maps and artwork. Some of the items included Charles Bean’s virtually unknown Cairo publication, What to Know in Egypt (March 1915); a lengthy run of the very rare Gallipoli journal Peninsula Press; and Norman Wilkinson’s eyewitness watercolour of the Landing at Gallipoli which sold for a five-figure amount.
As the auction progressed I was so pleased to learn that the auctioneer was the great-grandson of one of the doctors from the No 1 Australian Stationary Hospital. I have since been in contact and hoping to share information soon.
I was after one little book which was called War Service of Old Melburnians 1914-1918 by John Beacham Kiddle. The book was an illustrated history of all the old boys of the Melbourne Church of England Grammar School who fought in WWI. One of the 1325 names in the book was my relative LTCOL Henry Bryant, the commanding officer of the No 1 Australian Stationary Hospital. A two page biography and a new photo of him makes the purchase all worthwhile.