Letter of two hand-written pages to Roy on Monday (no date). Later page(s) missing. Almost certainly from a girlfriend who lives in Clarence St, East Brunswick, who describes domestic activities and disasters, photos, etc. She is very enthusiastic about their relationship and writes 'I've been thinking all-day today about the lovely time we spent together yesterday, I wish we were with one another every day.'
The letter was found under the floorboards of The Gallery, Great Hall, when replaced in 1989.
The addressee may be Royce Phillips, who served as a Leading Aircraftman (AC1, or Aircraftman) in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II, service number 47290. He enlisted on 9 December 1941 at Kilkenny, SA, and was discharged 5 Mar 1946. The suggestion of addressee is supported by a later letter clearly addressed to him that asks 'what has happened to Roma?' in response to a letter from Royce about a new girlfriend (SH 960274).
From 1940 to 1945 the Exhibition Building was occupied by the Royal Australian Air Force as a training school. About 500 to 700 men lived in for varying periods of time. When the floorboards on the balcony level of the Great Hall were replaced as part of the restoration program, many items dating back to the 1940s were found. These provided an insight into the lifestyle and interests of RAAF personnel stationed in the building.
Handwritten page of letter in faded blue ink on white lined paper.
This letter is significant as a rare and unintended survivor of a war-time romance in Melbourne. Its sender is identified as Roma Wright. A Roma Wright is named in the Argus on 25 July 1946, page 8 - one of a group of debutants, all hairdressers, at the cabaret ball of the Master Ladies Hairdressers' Association in the St Kilda Town Hall. On 30 June 1947, p.7, the Argus reports that Roma Wright of St Kilda has married Harold Anderson and has sailed to the United States - so presumably Harold was American. It is not known if this is the same Roma Wright who wrote this letter.
Transfer from Trustees of the Royal Exhibition Building (REB), Sep 1991
Extensive handwritten text.
Type of item
[Book] Darian-Smith, Kate. 1990. On the home front: Melbourne in wartime 1939-1945.
[Book] Dunstan, David. 1996. Victorian Icon: The Royal Exhibition Building., 377-386 Pages