Two uniformed soldiers standing in front of the rotunda at Langwarrin Camp during World War I. The man on the left is Major Walter Conder; the other man has been identified as Major Charles Johnson, a doctor and the Senior Medical Officer at Langwarrin Camp in 1917. Major Conder was put in charge of overseeing Langwarrin's conversion from a penal camp to a hospital for the treatment of soldiers with venereal diseases in 1917. Conder later became the second general manager of the Australian Broadcasting Commission and suggested an air race from London to Melbourne to celebrate Melbourne's centenary, which took place in 1934. After World War II he worked for the Ministry of Information, lecturing throughout Britain on 'A new life in Australia'.

The photograph belonged to Miss Elsie Storie of Brunswick, later of Canterbury, a young woman during World War I. She visited the site on Christmas Day in 1917, and was one of many to sign a menu on the occasion (HT 8455).

The Langwarrin camp area was used early in World War I for 'enemy aliens' and later as a hospital for the treatment of soldiers suffering sexually-transmitted diseases. During World War I, Australian forces during World War I were vulnerable to sexually-transmitted diseases: many on their first adventure away from home, facing an uncertain future or even death, and liberated (at least in part) from the social norms of home. Loss of troop time through STDs during World War I was considered significant: early in 1915, 1000 AIF men were infected at any one time - the equivalent of a battalion at full strength. The official historian of the army in World War I, Arthur Graham Butler, noted that 'in none of the forces from the dominions, serving overseas, far from their homes, of which figures are available, was the proportion of admissions to hospital for venereal treatment less than 100 to every 1000 soldiers.' Returning to Australia due to sexually-transmitted disease was considered a disgrace. Venereal patients sent home were typically treated at the 'isolation camp' at Langwarrin. By the war's end over 6000 men had passed through the camp.

Part of a collection of paper-based ephemera relating to the life of Miss Elsie Storie, a middle-class Melbourne woman who was born around 1895, lived through both wars, and remained in Melbourne all her life.

Description of Content

Two soldiers standing in front of a rotunda. There appears to be a crowd of people inside the rotunda.

Physical Description

Black and white silver gelatin photograph on paper.

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