Cream silk child's dress worn by Alice May as an infant or young child in Redding, England, around or before 1900. It may have been worn for her Christening, although as it is not particularly ornate this is unlikely.
During World War I Alice became a VAD. She knew the artist Darryl Lindsay, who was also a friend of her future husband, George Caro. George was a stretcher-bearer in the War. Alice and George married in 1921 and after the War migrated to Australia with Lindsay. Alice and George settled in Melbourne, and George at some point ran a financial organisation, Gollan and Company. He and Alice had a son, and eight years later returned to England to visit, where Alice gave birth to a daughter, Ann.
During World War II George worked to support the Red Cross, but he sometimes endured racist attacks, including someone scratching 'Jew' on his car. Alice and George divorced acrimoniously after George began an affair. He married his mistress, Norma, who was particularly unpleasant to Alice and Ann. They were pleased when George was invited to the Queen's coronation, because of his Red Cross work, and perhaps also because of a professional involvement with the Bank of England, and Norma was not included on the invitation. Alice never re-married, and never recovered from her divorce.
Cream, full-length, with long sleeves. Smocking across front and back yolks, with hand embroidered spirals on either side. Dress falls from slight gathering below smocking. Collar decorated with spirals and herringbone stitch along edge. Smocked cuffs. Metal press studs along back closure.
Donation from Ann Buckmaster, post December 2004
Type of item