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National Museum of Australia

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Keep the Home Fires Burning

Object information

Physical description

Colour printed postcard. Image of boy covering fireplace with newspaper. Printed on front at bottom: " "Keep the Home Fires Burning." / Necessite rend ingenieux!". Hand written on back: "Dear Fred / Its time I wrote to / you isnt it. Well old stocking Fritz / has been a little troublesome lately / and our time has been well taken up / so have only time to send you a card but / will write to you later on. I am OK and as / fat as a pig did they receive those P Photos / I sent will get taken again when I go to / England and send you one. Love ...(illegible)."

Statement of significance

The Monarchy, World War One and Sport collection (David Westcott Collection no. 7) consists of one souvenir matchbox holder celebrating the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953; eight postcards and three photographs from World War One and one music book entitled "Keep Your Tail Up Kanagaroo".

The Monarchy at the time Queen Elizabeth's Coronation in 1953 and her Royal Tour of Australia in 1954 appealed as a mixture of celebrity, genealogy and pageantry. The Monarch and other members of the Royal Family played an important role in fostering a sense of personal identification between the subject/citizen and the state and small items such as this matchbox holder brought the image of the monarch into everyday life. The sending of postcards reached its zenith in Australia between 1900 and 1920. With the separation caused by overseas service during World War One, postcards became an important way to reduce the pain of absence and anxieties about separation for those at the front and those at home. The music book entitled "Keep Your Tail Up Kangaroo" illustrates the significance of both cricket and Kangaroo iconography in Australian popular culture. The use of imagery based on or incorporating native fauna provided a useful means for Australian artists and manufacturers to promote a sense of distinctness from other established and emergent nations.

Object information

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