Historical information

Map extract showing the towns of Cheddar, Rodney Stoke, Westbury and a smaller town of Easton. The area depicted is part of Somerset, England. Map is hand drawn by J.J. Raisbeck date unknown. John James RAISBECK was born on 4 July 1880 at Christchurch New Zealand. He served 4 years (Citizen Military Force - CMF) in 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment in Central VIC with the rank 2nd Lieutenant. He was the first Australian appointed to the Survey Section RAE, on 16 April 1910, as a draughtsman which was his civilian profession, with the rank Warrant Officer, honorary 2nd Lieutenant. He was required to resign his commission in the CMF. He supervised the draughting work of the Section in Melbourne and was largely responsible for the mapping standards and specifications set in the production of the Cowes one-inch-to-one-mile military map, which became the enduring Australian standard. He was also responsible for supervising the printing of the maps by the Victorian Government Printer. He was appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the AIF Survey Corps draft on 6 December 1917 (from Melbourne) embarking for England on 22 December 17. He was attached to the Australian Corps Topographic Section in France from 21 April 1918 to 5 March 1919 serving as Second-in-Command and as Officer Commanding. He was promoted Lieutenant 15 October 1918, attending the AIF Survey School, Southampton in 1919, returning to Australia 23 June 1919, before his AIF appointment was terminated 17 July 1919. He went on to serve the Survey Section RAE and Australian Survey Corps, including in the Second World War, having been promoted Captain then Major and Officer Commanding Army Headquarters Cartographic Section until February 1940. He retired after 33 years of service to military survey, and after serving the Corps in two world wars, on 4 July 1943 with the retired rank Lieutenant-Colonel. He was the author of the article ‘A Short History of the Military Survey of Australia, 1907-1936’, published in The Australian Surveyor, Sept 1, 1937

Physical description

Map extract slightly larger than A4. Scale: One Inch to One and a half Mile. 1:31680, 9 x copies

Inscriptions & markings

Signature of "J.J. Raisbeck" bottom right-hand corner