Printed meal ticket for the Royal Australian Air Force found under the floorboards of the Royal Exhibition Building during floor restoration work in the late 1980s.

The ticket is marked RC Phillips, with his service number 47290, and dated 19 February 1942. Royce Clifford Phillips was born in Alberton, South Australia, on 17 September 1923, and enlisted in Kilkenny, South Australia, on 9 December 1941, only a few months before this ticket was issued, with the rank of Leading Aircraftman (AC1, or Aircraftman) with 6 Service Flying Training School. He was discharged on 5 March 1946. The Museum holds several letters addressed to Phillips, also found under the floorboards of the Exhibition Building.

The formal wartime occupation of the Exhibition Building began in October 1940, when the RAAF officially requisitioned the Building under the National Security (General) Regulations) for use as a barracks and training facility. After some minor modifications and partitioning in January 1941, No.1 School of Technical Training was relocated from West Melbourne Technical School and occupied the Building and Carlton Gardens between 1941-1946 under the command of Wing Commander RG Francis (17 March 1941 - 8 October 1945) and Flight Lieutenant BH Pascoe (13 October - 22 November 1945). The RAAF occupation of the site continued after the war with No.1 Personnel Depot, under the command of Wing Commander RK Bazley (27 October 1945 - 8 October 1946), being based at the Building.

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 provide an insight into the lifestyle and interests of RAAF personnel stationed in the building.

This particular meal ticket was found under the floorboards of the Gallery in the Great Hall when they were replaced in 1989.

Physical Description

Square cream cardboard ticket No. 1STT / RAAF / Exhibition Buildings, Melbourne / with number 1 to 44 around outside. Most numbers have been punched. Reverse: No. 8281 printed on back. Period ending 19 February 1942. This is a meal ticket issued to RAAF service- man Phillips. The RAAF were stationed at the Exhibition Building for training purposes between 1940 and 1945.

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