Two page letter written with log - red `V' / for VICTORY - written to Royce, a RAAF serviceman from 'Lil'. She says she has received his photo in uniform via Royce's father, and she teasingly asks after Royce's new girlfriend Roma.

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

Two page letter written in ink on blue-lined paper with logo - a red `V' / for VICTORY. Extensive water damage obscuring large parts of the handwritten text, making sections illegible.


Reason for Acquisition: Transfer from the Trustees of the Royal Exhibition Building
From 1940 to 1945 the Exhibition Building was occupied by the Royal Australian Air Force as a training school. 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.

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

  • Addressed To

    Royce (Roy) C. Phillips - Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Kilkenny, South Australia, Australia, 1941-1945

  • Inscriptions

    Front top left: V FOR VICTORY Extensive handwritten text in blue ink. Handwritten address top right: 155 A Gertrude (?) St, Glanville SA (illegible - water damage) Handwritten: Dear Royce, Well I went down (illegible water damage) Office this afternoon and reserved (illegible - water damage) you can bet we was glad (illegibl water damage) you we was all wondering (illegible - water damage) happened to you - you fa...(illegible - water damage) because he (illegible water damage) I am glad to know that (illegible - water damage) safe & sound. Well your friendship with Roma (?) seems to be progressing very satisfactorily,'The Royce' you have met the parents too! Well! Well! but anyway good luck to you Royce - I hope she is a nice girl . When will you know the results of your exam. Let's know how you get on. You might surprise yourself & come top of the class. Your father had a hald a dozen post cards takem off of your photo Royce & they turned out grand. He gave us one card & we have them framed. y the way if you run into any of those American yobs (?) you tell them for me that our Navy know how to behave themsemves anyway & that's from a girl who loves one of them. (Me) . I haven't heard any more from (illegible water damage) yet but I am still anxiously (illegible water damage) for some word from hm. Having (water damage illegible) where & how he is, it has (illegible water damage) pretty worried believe me (illegible water damage) those Americans for me that (illegible water damage) pardon by (illegible water damage) himself. Well Royce (illegible water damage) for this time as Cheers! / Look after yourself Royce. / All the best from / Lil / xxxxxxx

  • Classification

    Military history, Personal effects, Correspondence

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • Overall Dimensions

    19.4 cm (Length), 24 cm (Height)

  • Exhibition Collection Management

    196 mm (Width), 243 mm (Height)

  • Dimensions

    245 mm (Length), 194 mm (Width)
    Measurement From Conservation. Measuring Method: Maximum dimensions of pages

  • 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