Veterans Heritage Project
 
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Experiences of love and loss are heightened during wartime. These items and oral histories reveal the bonds between those who serve together. They also demonstrate just how powerful circumstance and technology can be in changing the connections with loved ones at home during a conflict, and how important sustaining these relationships is.

 

wonthaggi RSL

oral history


 Image showing quote by Trevor Scott. "As soon as I walked in, she burst into tears. 'Is he gone? Is he gone?' - talking about my older brother, Vern. I said, 'No, he's coming home.'"

Interviewee:

Trevor Scott

Interviewer:

Mark Stevenson

DESCRIPTION:

In this oral history except, Trevor Scott tells a personal yet common story that is shared by the families of servicemen and women worldwide – reflecting on how wartime not only affected those who served, but also their loved ones whom they left behind.

Date:

19 Jul 2017

DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPT



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wangaratta RSL

letter



REGISTRATION No:

336.1

DescriPtion:

This condolence letter from King George VI was received by the Emery family of Wangaratta, Victoria. Flying Officer William Emery lost his life serving with 460 Squadron RAAF over Belgium on 15 June, 1943.

DATE:

1943

SIZE:

H19 x W12 cm



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ringwood RSL

letter



REGISTRATION No:

00100

DescriPtion:

This letter was sent by Private Aubrey Neil, home from Gallipoli during the First World War. The letter is written on the leg of a pair of trousers, suggesting that resources were limited. Aubrey survived Gallipoli and saw out the duration of the war at the Front before returning home in 1919.

DATE:

1915

SIZE:

H41 x W20 cm



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lara RSL

Sweetheart badges



REGISTRATION No:

0392

DescriPtion:

Sweetheart badges were momentos given to loved ones by troops departing for foreign shores. Originally regimental badges worn close to the heart, they represent a close connection to a particular armed force. Jewellers soon picked up on the commercial possibilities and they were manufactured widely during the First and Second World Wars.

DATE:

1944

SIZE:

H4 x W4 cm each



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Wangaratta RSL

Envelope art



REGISTRATION No:

351

DescriPtion:

Part of a series of illustrations on envelopes depicting various aspects of life at the front during the Second World War. They once contained letters written by a soldier to his family in Wangaratta. 

DATE:

c.1939 - 1945

SIZE:

H9x W14.5 cm



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DANDENONG/CRANBOURNE RSL

EMBROIDERED Postcards



REGISTRATION No:

0195

DescriPtion:

Embroidered silk postcards reached peak popularity during the First World War. Their production became a booming industry largely driven by women. The sentimental designs and handwritten notes on this set of fourteen cards reflect this soldier's love for his family and the pain of long-term separation from loved ones.

DATE:

c.1914-18

SIZE:

H14 x W9 cm



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Lara RSL

Dead man's penny



REGISTRATION No:

0437

DescriPtion:

These memorial plaques were presented to the next of kin of fallen service men and women during the First World War. This penny acknowledges the sacrifice of Private William Edward Ernest Bond of Geelong. William was 18 years old when he went missing in action on 19th July, 1917.

DATE:

c.1917

SIZE:

Diameter: 12cm



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lara rsl

GREETING
CARD



REGISTRATION No:

420

DescriPtion:

The First World War – perhaps more so than any other conflict – is closely linked with the literature of the period. The ability of poetry to convey powerful emotions made it a fitting medium to convey the senselessness and depravity of war and to respond to grief, loss and separation. This poem began appearing on greeting cards and in Australian newspapers in approximately 1916.

DATE:

c.1916

SIZE:

H10 x W12cm



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LARA RSL

German mothers cross



REGISTRATION No:

0041

DescriPtion:

This decoration was intended to honour German mother's for exceptional merit to their nation during World War II. It reflects the Reich's attempt to bridle the ideological position of women following the Weimar Republic years. This object was donated to Lara RSL by John Leslie Sollory, who was a prisoner of war following the Battle of Crete.

DATE:

1938

SIZE:

H2 x W2 cm



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wangaratta rsl

Postcard



REGISTRATION No:

208.77

DescriPtion:

Postcards from the First World War often reveal the enduring devotion and passion of troops and their loved ones at home. This postcard was written by soldier William West to his wife, Alice. A collection of his correspondence with home is held by the Wangaratta RSL, offering insight into this family's personal experience of long-term separation. 

DATE:

1917

SIZE:

H9 x W14 cm



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DANDENONg/cranbourne RSL

photograph



REGISTRATION No:

0118.1

DescriPtion:

Part of a series of eight photographs documenting the cataclysmic damage to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the aftermath of the atomic bombings.

DATE:

1945

SIZE:

H14.4 x W10.5 cm



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DANDENONG/CRANBOURNE RSL

Dog Tag



REGISTRATION No:

0019

DescriPtion:

Dog tags are worn by military personal to assist in the identification of dead and wounded soldiers. These belonged to Lance Corporal Edward Francis Camm, who was born in 1904 at Dargo, Victoria and enlisted on 14 July, 1940.

DATE:

c.1940

SIZE:

H34 x W3.5 x D2 cm



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