Vivian Clarence McGee was born in Ballarat and was a Grocer by trade when he enlisted in the 7th Battalion, 13th Reinforcement on 8 July 1915 at the age of 22. His unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A64 Demosthenes on 29 December 1915.
He commenced training with the 14th Depot Battalion in Ballarat but for reasons unknown he was discharged on October 27th. He enlisted again in July 1915 (resulting in two SERNs), and in late December of that year he embarked on the Demosthenes as a 7th Battalion reinforcement. By April of 1916 he was in France but his time there was restricted to just four months. In July he was hospitalised with severe arthritis, which ultimately caused his evacuation to England. In early 1917 he was attached to AIF Headquarters in London as a clerk, a position he then held through the remainder of the war. In November of 1919 he sailed from England on the Nestor, disembarking at Melbourne on December 15th.
Tree No. 860