95 years since Mephisto capture

22 July 2013

On the 95th anniversary of the capture of Mephisto, the family of the commander who led the history recovery of the iconic German A7V tank donated his war-time possessions, including medals to the State Collection.Queensland Museum Network CEO Professor Suzanne Miller with Major Robinson’s grandson Dr Neal Jones who donated his grandfather’s treasured possessions to the State Collection

Major Robinson, 26th Battalion AIF commander, was not only responsible for the capture of Mephisto on 22 July 1918, but was instrumental in its delivery to Queensland as a war trophy.

Queensland Museum Network CEO Professor Suzanne Miller met with the family at Mephisto’s temporary home at The Workshops Rail Museum to accept the donation.

Professor Miller said Major Robinson’s family had very generously agreed to donate several items of significance, including his medals, to the Queensland Museum collection which already contains his uniform.

“As the last surviving example in the world of the first German military tank, the A7V Sturmpanzerwagen ‘Mephisto’ is a highly significant object that the Queensland Museum is entrusted to care for within the State Collection.”

“This kind donation from Major Robinson’s family will enable us to discover and share more insights into the life of one of the brave Australian soldiers who was integral to Mephisto’s capture, both during and after the first World War.”

“I thank them for sharing this part of their family’s history which is especially significant as we approach the ANZAC Centenary in 2014.”
The donated items include Major Robinson’s military medals with supporting documentation, the presentation scroll from his Distinguished Service Order, photographs and other important documents.

A small Mephisto display at The Workshops Rail Museum gives visitors an insight into the tank as well as the specialist conservation treatment and techniques used to store such a large and precious metal object, with Mephisto now kept in a balloon-like cover called a carcoon.

Queensland Museum curators are planning a new exhibition to commemorate the ANZAC Centenary.