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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Improvised Identity Disc: Private George Macleod, 47 Battalion, AIF

ID Number    PERS001

Title                Improvised Identity Disc: Private George Macleod, 47 Battalion, AIF

Maker             Unknown

Object Type  
Personal Equipment

Place made     Unknown

Date made      c 1916-1917

Physical          Copper

An Australian First World War improvised identity disc made from a halfpenny. A small hole has been drilled through the top of the coin for it to be worn as an identity disc around the neck of the wearer. The reverse of the disk has been ground down and is stamped ‘2008 G. MACLEOD. 47 BATT. A.I.F M’. The obverse has the profile image of King Edward VII’s head upon has been finely engraved ‘KILLED IN ACTION AT MESSINES JUNE 7TH 1917’.

George McLeod (also spelt MacLeod) was a 27 year old miner from North Queensland when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) on 21 February 1916. 2008 Private McLeod embarked for overseas on board HMAT A46 Clan Macgillivray on 1 May 1916 with the 3 Reinforcement of the 47 Battalion. After a period of training with the 12 Training Battalion, England and the 4 Australian Division Base Details, Etaples, France, he joined the 47 Battalion in the field on 3 October 1916. He accidentally injured his ankle on 1 January 1917 and was sent to the 8 Field Ambulance. After attending two hospitals and the 1 Convalescent Depot he rejoined the 47 Battalion on 18 February 1917.

Private McLeod was killed in action on 8 June 1917 during the Battle of Messines. Initially he was registered as being buried west of Messines at reference S.S. P.1072. However, due to the continued fighting in the area, the grave site was lost and he is listed as having no known grave and is commemorated at The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 27), Belgium. This disc was sent, as part of his personal effects, to his father George McLeod Senior in 1918.

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