Mystery military men puzzle museum

August 28, 2021 BY

Who are they?: The brothers were part of different battalions, as evident in their colour patches. Photos: EDWINA WILLIAMS

A FRAMED photograph in the historical collection of the Ballarat Ranger Military Museum has left volunteers scratching their heads for many years.

A FRAMED photograph in the historical collection of the Ballarat Ranger Military Museum has left volunteers scratching their heads for many years.

Depicting two men in uniform with a family resemblance, it’s suspected the portrait is of two brothers who had returned from the First World War, dating back to approximately 1919, but no information has ever been linked to it.

In 2015, the large oval frame caught the eye of a visitor who said, ‘I know who those people are,’ but this woman left the building having forgotten to share the information with volunteers.

Ballarat Ranger Military Museum manager Neil Leckie holds the framed photograph of the men, but not the key to their stories.

Museum manager Neil Leckie is asking local residents whether they recognise the faces.

“One of them is an Anzac who went to Gallipoli because he has his horizontal rectangle 8th Battalion colour patch on with the letter A on it, and the other brother has a diamond-shaped 24th Battalion colour patch,” he said.

“That’s the only thing we know about them. We don’t know what the history of it is, where it came from, who donated it, or who they are, although it could have come from a deceased estate.

“We don’t know how important this photo could potentially be until we find which family it belongs to. It could be quite an important feature.”

The photo is under raised glass, and the frame is approximately “two feet wide, and a foot or so tall.”

The Ballarat Ranger Military Museum is based at Alfredton’s Ranger Barracks. The Museum initially opened in 1987 in one room at the old Barracks site.

The Museum showcases an extensive collection of historical memorabilia, ensuring the military heritage of Ballarat and district and stories of volunteers, militia, Citizens Military Forces, and Army Reserve personnel from the Ballarat Army Reserve unit the 8th/7th Battalion Royal Victoria Regiment live on.

Contact Mr Leckie with any information on the image via 0400 573 802. Visit ballaratmilitarymuseum.org.au.

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