Single page hand-written letter to Carol to Roy, informing him about mutual friends and social arrangements, dated 2 February 1942.

The letter was found under the floorboards of the balcony level of the Gallery, Great Hall, Royal Exhibition Building, when replaced in 1989 as part of a restoration program. Many other items dating back to the 1940s were also found, providing an insight into the lifestyle and interests of RAAF personnel stationed in the building.

The formal wartime occupation of the Exhibition Building began in October 1940, when it was requisitioned for the RAAF under the National Security (General) Regulations. Partitioning work began in January 1941, and on 15 March the RAAF no.1 School of Technical Training was moved to the Exhibition Building from West Melbourne Technical School. Before long the Great Hall and surrounding areas were crowded with Air Force personnel. About 500 to 700 men lived there for varying periods of time; numbers peaked in 1942, when about 2000 personnel were accommodated. The central part of the building was a mess hall. The arena was occupied by a kitchen, laundry blocks, a storeroom and a playing field. The southern and eastern sides of the building were used for parades and drilling. The RAAF remained in control of the Exhibition Building until October 1946. (David Dunstan,1996, Victorian Icon)

Physical Description

One page hand-written letter with extensive staining and discolouration from water damage.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    Royal Exhibition Building Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Public Life & Institutions, Royal Exhibition Building

  • Acquisition Information

    Transfer from Trustees of the Royal Exhibition Building (REB), Sep 1991

  • Place & Date Made

    Fitzroy, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1942

  • Date Used


  • Inscriptions

    Handwritten top right: '16 (or 76) Condell St. / Fitzroy N.6 / 2.2.'42' Handwritten: Dear Roy / Just a short note in answer to your most welcome letter which I received today. I haven't seen Gladys yet so tell Bill Iwill give his letter tomorrow night. / I would like to know what you meant by having plenty of time to mess about. The redhead will come with us on Thurs-day night so tell your mate to turn up. I won't promise to go to the pictures with you Saturday night until we see how you go on Thursday. / Well there isnt much to write about so you can only expect one page after all (?). I am not much good at writing letters. / Before I close I must ask you did the 'Auburn head' hang around after we left. / Well I must sign off now hoping to hear from you soon / I remain / your truly / Carol

  • Classification

    Military history, Personal effects, Correspondence

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • Overall Dimensions

    19.4 cm (Length), 24.7 cm (Height)

  • Exhibition Collection Management

    195 mm (Width), 247 mm (Height)

  • References

    [Book] Dunstan, David. 1996. Victorian Icon: The Royal Exhibition Building., 377-386 Pages

  • Keywords

    Correspondence, Royal Exhibition Building, Wars & Conflicts, World War II, 1939-1945