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Letter - Private Albert Edward Kemp to Ethel Kemp, Personal, 7 Aug 1917 Document Reg. No: HT 13600

Letter to six-year-old Ethel Kemp from her father Private Albert Edward Kemp, who was serving on the Western Front during World War I. He was killed six weeks later, on 21 September 1917.

Albert tells his 'Dear little Ethel' that he received a letter from her mother saying that Ethel had told a lie. He forgives her 'this time', but admonishes her to 'always tell your mother the truth again as you have got one of the best mothers in this world / you must be kind to her and do as she tell you and you will find she is kind and good'. He instructs her to play 'nicely' with her brother George 'till your daddy come home again'. He asks how she is getting on at school and supposes she has 'learnt a lot by this time'. He tells her he has bought her a string of Rosary beads, and asks for the name of her 'nice little play mate'. He hopes to find her 'in the best of health as it leave your daddy at present', and closes with 'fondest of love to you dear Ethel'. He concludes: 'Please give a kiss for mother and George for me with a safe return with God Almighty Lord help.'
Letter written on lined paper with purple pencil. Paper is yellowed and foxed. Upper left features outline of Australia traced with black line, overlaid with red triangle and words 'Y.M.C.A./WITH/THE/AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE'. The rising sun logo for the Australian Commonwealth Military Forces appears above text.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 203 mm (Height), 124 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: death mourning, domestic life, religions roman catholic, wars conflicts, world war i 1914-1918, making history - war diaries and correspondence, making history - kemp mourning collection
Themes this item is part of: Albert Edward Kemp Mourning Collection, Albert Edward Kemp, AIF (1884-1917), 6th Battalion Diary Extract, September 1917, Childhood & Youth Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: MILITARY HISTORY
Secondary Classification: Personal Effects
Tertiary Classification: correspondence
Inscriptions: Printed text: '"Melbourne Herald" and "Weekly Times" (Australia) Hut./AUSTRALIAN COMMONWEALTH/MILITARY FORCES/Y.M.C.A./WITH/THE/AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE./France/7/8/1917'

Hand-written text: 'My Dear little Ethel/I received a letter from/your mother and she told me that/you told her a lie but I will for-/give you this time but you must/always tell your mother the truth/again as you have got one of the/best mothers in this world you/must be kind to her and do/as she tell you and you will/find she is kind and good I/suppose your brother George is/a little tricks and play with/him nicely till your daddy/come home again how are you/getting on at school I suppose/you have learnt a lot by this/time now I bought a string of/Rosy [ie. Rosary] beads for you and [Illegible] to/send them along as so as I can/get them away have you got a/nice little play mate yet if so/let me know her name hoping/this to find you in best of/health as it leave your daddy/at present I shall now bring/this letter to a closed with/fondest of love to you dear Ethel/Yours truly/daddy/Pte A.E. Kemp/Please give a kiss for mother/and George for me with/a safe return with God/Almighty Lord help.'
Author: Private Albert Kemp - 6th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force (AIF), France, 12 Jul 1917
Organisation Named: Australian Commonwealth Military Forces, Australia
Organisation Named: Australian Imperial Force (AIF), Australia
Organisation Named: YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association), Australia
Place Used: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
References: National Archives of Australia hold records relating to Albert Kemp - Series number B2455, Barcode 7368872

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