This blog is a companion to the Database of Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington

Saturday, December 1, 2012

McPhee brothers in 4 Field Ambulance

In this group of NCOs and Officers of the 4 Field Ambulance are brothers, Sergeants James Edmond and Victor Alexander Douglas McPhee of 1 Violet Street, Essendon.  Both accountants, they enlisted within weeks of each other in September and October 1914, and embarked on the Berrima on 22 Dec 1914 with the regimental numbers of 2006 and 2007.  Both served at Gallipoli.  Jim won the Military Medal for gallantry in 1917.  Both were promoted to Sergeant.  Only one brother returned.  This photo was taken at Ballieul in March 1918, and Victor was killed on 10 April 1918.

Jim is identified in the middle row, third from the left, and Victor in the same row at far right.  Jim's war diaries are in the Australian War Memorial collection.


  1. Hi Lenore,
    Jim and Vic are my great-uncles! I am doing some work on our family history and I discovered your useful book "Dating family photos" at the library the other day. Keep up the great work!

  2. Thank you. If you have any photos, postcards or letters that could be added to their webpages, that would be very welcome.

  3. By the way I just tidied up Vic's URL which was a bit messy. It is now

  4. With Respect
    I visited the little Chapel cemetery near Couin yesterday whilst doing some research and came across the grave of Victor McPhee.
    Some may think it quite sad that he lies alone some distance from the nearest town or village, but I believe he has one of the most peaceful and beautiful resting places on earth. Lying in a small communal cemetery that dates back many centuries(chapel graffiti dates 17century and earlier!
    His CWGC stone stands proud over the generations of local family markers and all that can be heard are the birds whistling overhead and the trees rustling in the breeze; a forgotten paradise.
    I shall ensure I visit occasionally and sit a while to read, or just admire the beauty and tranquility whilst reflecting on the history. I shall also take visitors and explain his history as I guide them around the area & battlefields.
    I took a couple of photos with my phone but unable to upload them. If you would like any photos or have something placed at his graveside then please get in touch.
    Very informative site btw.
    Best regards

    1. Thank you. Victor is a cousin of mine. The description you have given about his resting place makes me feel happy.

  5. Hi David, thank you for your kinds remarks. I would love a photo of his grave if you took one. I don't know how to contact you, but you can find my email address on my 'complete profile', in the right hand panel.

    It seems like he rests very peacefully.

    Thank you for getting in touch.


  6. I have a picture of my Grandfather in uniform, and the Print says 'Officers No. 4 Field Ambulance Guards Division Cologne 1918. I'm not certain based on your photo but I beleive that some of the officers in my photo are also in yours.

    How can I send you a copy ? Can I get a copy of yours ?

  7. The photo in this post is not mine, it is from the Australian War Memorial collection no E01797, so I don't have a clearer photo, unfortunately, though the one at the AWM is clearer. My email addy is in my profile, top right margin. I would be interested to see a copy of your photo, see if we can identify anyone. Best wishes, Lenore.