Box containing set of three indoor board games: Snakes and Ladders, Tank Attack and Ludo. Used circa 1930-1939.

World War II changed life for everyone - including children. While fathers were away fighting 'Mr Hitler', many mothers worked long hours in offices and factories. Food and clothing were rationed, and children helped grow vegetables in backyard 'victory gardens'. After Japan entered the war in 1942 and invasion threatened, the fear of bombing hung in the air. Some city children were evacuated to rural areas. Many families built air-raid shelters in suburban backyards. Trenches were dug across school playgrounds, and air-raid drills were held. Yet wartime could be exciting, too. Military marches through the city streets, fireside games of strategy and battleships, and heroic tales of soldiers in far-off lands - all lit the imagination of many a Melbourne child. But reality hit hard for those children whose loved ones did not come home. (Melbourne Story exhibition label, 2008)

Physical Description

Rectangular cardboard box printed in blue, yellow, green and red depicting three board game cards surrounded by motifs of tanks, a snake and ladder and a spinning top. Box contains three games. Snakes and Ladders is a red and grey checkerboard, interspersed with black snakes highlighted in yellow and green, and yellow ladders. Images on squares include trucks, planes and people undertaking various physical activities. The Ludo board consists of a series of geometric patterns and squares, divided into quarters that are respectively red, green, yellow and blue. Tank Attack has a green background with a yellow pathway winding through it, divided into 100 squares, with occasional images of tanks and planes in battle, and inscriptions such as 'Gas attack by enemy return to 40' and 'Casualties from bombs miss three turns'.

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