Similar items over time

Dress & Booty Covers - Christening, England, circa 1940 Object Reg. No: HT 27778

Child's white lace christening dress and matching booty covers worn by Hazel Hathaway for her christening in Coventry, England, circa 1940. It was probably also worn by Hazel's younger sister Merle for her christening, in 1948. The dress was amongst many personal items brought to Australia when the Hathaway family migrated in 1951.

Stanley and Lucy (nee Simmons) Hathaway and their daughter Hazel survived World War II in heavily bombed Coventry, England, remaining there until 1946. They attended the Victory in Europe celebrations there on 8 May 1945. The Hathaway's relocated to Buckinghamshire (where second daughter Merle was born in 1948) and Hampshire between 1946 and 1951, finally deciding to migrate to Australia. They applied successfully to the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme but had to wait two years before departing, living and touring England in a caravan until departing on the 'New Australia' 17 November, 1951. They first stayed at the Bathurst Migrant Camp in New South Wales before being relocated to a housing commission estate in Ballarat, Victoria. Within six months they had purchased a block of land, living in a caravan while their house was built. The family became active members of the local Ballarat community, with Lucy working for the newly established McCallum House Centre for Retarded Children at Sebastapol and continued her strong interest in the Brownies and Girl Guides associations.
Cream lace dress with satin ribbon trim and pair of child's white lace bootie covers with satin ribbon trim.
Statement Of Significance:
This collection represents the experiences of thousands of post-war assisted migrants from England who brought with them memories of danger, sadness, courage, austerity and celebration in both tangible and intangible forms. This family survived one of the most severe bombings of any English city during World War II and brought with them material symbols of endurance and triumph in the Victory Day dress and Union Jack flag, symbols with almost universal resonance. The collection also includes items which tell stories about the goods migrants select in order to start new lives, the adventure of the ship voyage, and the seeking of familiar interests in a new community. The collection also explores the theme of maintaining connections and loyalties to homeland, in this case through memorabilia relating to the British monarchy and exchange projects with former local communities.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Merle Hathaway, 2010
Discipline: History

More information

Tagged with: celebrations, children s clothing, religions anglican, migration settlement, british immigration, brought goods, migrant camps, migrant reception centres
Themes this item is part of: Clothing & Textiles Collection, Migration Collection, Hathaway Family, Assisted English Migrants, 1951, Post World War II British Migration to Australia
Primary Classification: CELEBRATIONS & TRADITIONS
Secondary Classification: Baptisms & Christenings
Tertiary Classification: clothing
User: Hazel Hathaway, Coventry, England, Great Britain, circa 1940
User (Probable): Merle Hathaway, England, Great Britain, circa 1948


Merle Hathaway Posted on 07 Jan 2013 6:39 PM
It is lovely, if somewhat sad, to see this material on the Museum's website. I remember these two dresses (the V-day dress too) packed in tissue and from time to time taken out to look at, then packed away again. As the last of my family it was great to be able to find such a good home for them at last.

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.
Yes No