Checked tweed coat brought from England to Melbourne by Joan Fogarty as a war bride in 1946. Joan Howle was born in Birmingham England in 1920. She joined the Women's Land Army and during this time met Augustus (Gus) Michael Fogarty, an Australian Flight Lieutenant (Flt.Lt.) flying instructor in the air force. In 1944 the couple married and in 1946 Joan and their daughter Patricia travelled to meet Gus on the war bride ship the Arcadia carrying around 400 British war brides to Australian husbands. They went on to purchase a house in Regent and their son Keith was born in 1949. Gus continued teaching and Joan raised the family and managed the household. Jean returned to England for a time in the 1970s and then returned to Australia.

Joan purchased the check tweed coat in 1940 from a store named Rackhams (later the House of Fraser) in Birmingham. She wore it during her off-time when a member of the Women's Land Army and brought it with her when she migrated. Joan did not wear the coat on the ship as she sailed during summer; but she was glad to have it when the ship docked on a dark July afternoon, after sailing through the Tropics. Joan wore the coat for two or three winters; with no car, or an ice-chest and all the shops on the street, she needed to keep warm when she was out shopping daily. Joan had a suit (jacket and skirt) in the same check material as the coat.

Physical Description

Matching belt from tweed woman's woollen coat in green, orange and camel check, a single securing loop made from the same fabric, and a brown leather buckle and.The buckle is slightly worn in places.


This coat and the related wedding album and shipboard booklet provides a rare opportunity to represent the experience of a post World War II English war bride in the Migration collections.

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