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National Museum of Australia

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The Flying Tigers by Russell Whelan

2006.0101.0017

The Flying Tigers by Russell Whelan

Object information

Physical description

An orange hardcover book with the image of a tiger leaping between two thin triangle shapes, with the title The Flying Tigers" by Russell Whelan. Inside there are black and white photographs, text and diagrams.

Statement of significance

The collection consists of approximately 140 items relating to Australian aviation, war service, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The items were collected by Mr William Beausang during his life and formed part of his wife's estate. The collection includes a painting of the Southern Cross by John Allcot, photographs of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, early aviators and planes, signed photographs of concert musicians and conductors, newspaper articles, miniatures of Beausang's World War One medals, a strip map and several books.

William (Bill or Liam) Beausang was born in Youghal, County Cork, Ireland on 22 May 1900. He travelled to Australia in 1924 after distinguished military service and began working with Kingsford-Smith as an engineer in the late 1920s. The large amount of aviation-related material in the collection reveals Beausang's engagement with the celebrity, memorialisation and commemoration of Kingsford Smith and other aviators, with Beausang's own contribution in the form of articles and photographs a significant part of the collection. The material related to the ABC and Sydney Symphony Orchestra also highlights the place of classical music in wartime Australia and the cultural importance of visits by celebrated musicians to Australia in the 1940s and 1950s.

Object information

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