Two page hand written letter and envelope written by Private Albert James 'Jim' Smith of the 24 Australian Infantry Battalion to Margaret Malval, dated 10 January 1944. This letter was sent in response to a care package sent by Margaret. In this letter Jim thanks Margaret for the Australian Comforts Fund hamper he received from her. Jim briefly describes his home life in Victoria and says that he is currently located south of the Markham River, in Papua New Guinea. This is the only letter Margaret received from Jim as he died on the 29 July 1944.

Margaret Malval emigrated to the United States of America from Melbourne, Australia in 1935. During World War II she volunteered for the American Women's Voluntary Services and sent packages to Australian soldiers through the Australian Comforts Fund, thereby entering into an exchange of correspondence with a number of Australian soldiers based in the Pacific and in Australia.

Physical Description

A two page letter, single sided, hand written with pencil on lined paper. The paper has several creases in it where it has been folded in to thirds. Written on Australian Comforts Fund letterhead. Envelope torn open at one side, addressed in pencil (but crossed out and another address added), handwritten. Stamped as passed by Australian Military Forces censor.


This collection of letters and cards are significant as they illustrate the continuing ties felt by an emigrant to their country of birth. Margaret Malval was born and grew up in Melbourne, Victoria and moved to the United States of America to be married in 1935, where she lived for the rest of her life. Though her husband served in the United States Armed Forces, Margaret chose to send care packages to Australian soldiers through the Australian Comforts Fund, suggesting she retained strong ties to Australia.

These letters and cards were sent from Australian servicemen to Margaret, initially after receiving a care package from her which she donated through the Australian Comforts Fund. These letters and cards highlight the support of people on the home front for Australian servicemen by sending care packages through organisations like the Australian Comforts Fund, and the response of Australian Servicemen on receipt of these packages. Additionally, this collection also helps tell the stories of the frontline experience of Australian servicemen during World War II.

More Information