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Ammunition box used by Polish migrant Mr Lukas in Italy, England, Argentina and Australia, 1943-1988

1989.0049.0001

Ammunition box used by Polish migrant Mr Lukas in Italy, England, Argentina and Australia, 1943-1988

Object information

Description

This box was used by Mr Lukas' infantry unit for the storage of mortar shells when he served in the Second Polish Corps of the British Eighth Army in Italy from 1943-1945. At the end of hostilities the box served as a trunk into which Mr Lukas packed his meagre possessions when his unit was shipped in 1946 to Britain to be incorporated in the the Polish Resettlement Corps (PRC). For the next two years the box served as a chair in the Ludford Magna camp of the PRC only to be used again as a packing case when Mr Lukas and his wife decided to emigrate to Argentina. In Buenos Aires it became the base of a cradle for his daughter Isabelle. The Lukas family decided to migrate to Australia in 1968, travelling by sea via the United Kingdom, and once again the box was used as a packing case, this time for glassware because it was so sturdy and it could stand rough treatment. Upon arrival in Australia Mr Lukas first got a job at Mount Isa. Within about a year the family was able to purchase a small cottage in Harbord, NSW, and used the box as a seat in their sparsely furnished living room. Its was last used for storage of tools in their laundry.

Physical description

Brown painted steel lidded ammunition box, which has some small splashes of white paint, particularly on the lid. The handles on each side are riveted to the box and they have rubber grips that have perished with age. It has: a continuous hinge along the back that is reinforced with two large riveted hinges; fold and clip fasteners on either side of the front; a loop for a padlock in the centre of the front; two labels and 'IN TRANSITO GENOA SYDNEY' painted on the lid and side; five other paper luggage labels.

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