Captain McCrae enlisted in the 84th Foot Regiment and served in Ireland and the West Indies, where his grandfather had been a sugar plantation owner. He is shown here in the uniform of the regiment in which he attained the rank of captain in 1830.
The brother-in-law of artist Georgiana McCrae, Captain McCrae arrived in the Port Phillip District in June 1841. After a period of financial anxiety, he was appointed to a position in the Treasury by Lieutenant-Governor La Trobe in 1845. After the separation of Victoria from New South Wales, La Trobe appointed Captain McCrae as the inaugural Post-Master General, a position he held from 1851 until 1857, when he retired.