Two page letter with 'V/for Victory logo to Royce, a RAAF servicemam - from his Auntie Alice, Mick and Jim, asking about his girlfriend and being concerned he had not written to his father. The letter is dated February 7 1941.

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 on blue line paper with `V/for Victory logo to Royce.


Reason for Acquisition: 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 provided an insight into the lifestyle and interests of RAAF personnel stationed in the building.
Transfer from the Trustees of the Royal Exhibition 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

  • Inscriptions

    Front top left: V FOR VICTORY Handwritten date top right: Feb 7th 1941 Handwritten: Dear Royce / Just a few lines to you hoping that you are well. See Royce your father was down last night he was terrible worried because you told him you would write strait (sic) back he gave us one of your photo he had done gee are they good I'll say they are. Mick has just backed a horse 10 -1 I don't know if it will win I hope it does the train left late didn't it. Handwritten, second page: Well Royce I hope you get on alright with the girl & her people. I will be glad to see the photo so don't forget to send it don't forget to behave yourself. I hope you enjoy the Tivoli Royce we are going to the pictures I would like to see you get a nive girl Royce because a lot of boys are no good. Mick send he (sic) best wishes to you we haven't heard from Bronc (?). Bill is going to have an operation / (New Page) Monday . Mick and Lil are afternoon shift next week. How is Ruby & Bill I hope you pass your exam. Eileen looks well in her dress for school gee she getting big Royce. Well Royce this will be all for the time / hoping to hear from you soon don't forget the photo of the girl Royce / give her our love and best wishes / Your loving Auntie Alice / Mick & Jim /xxxxxxxxxx / write soon'

  • 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

    197 mm (Width), 246 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