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Life During World War II in Photographs
Image: Digital Photograph - Photographer, Service Women & Crowds at Peace Day, Melbourne, 1945
Source: Museum Victoria
Photographs in private albums form an important record of life at home and the front during World War II. By the outbreak of war, it was common for families to own inexpensive cameras that took black and white photographs, carefully placed in photograph albums. Some families put together 'grab albums' to take with them in case of bombing or invasion.
With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, thousands of Melburnians enlisted to fight, or joined the war effort at home. By early 1942, the war was no longer a distant conflict for Melburnians. Japanese forces were advancing in the Pacific, and Australia's northern coastline was being bombed. In Melbourne, anti-aircraft guns were installed at Maribyrnong, and 30 000 American troops were stationed in the city by mid 1942. Regulations clamped down on everyday life, controlling where people worked and what food, clothes and petrol they could buy. Even the number of football games and race meetings were restricted.
Melbourne's factories ramped up production, especially those making munitions, aeroplanes, textiles and food. Because labour was scarce, women worked in new areas such as heavy industry and public transport. The war changed the economic, industrial and cultural landscape of Melbourne forever.
Families faced particular challenges during the war. While fathers were away fighting, many mothers worked long hours in offices and factories and children helped grow vegetables in backyard 'victory gardens'. After Japan entered the war in 1942 and invasion threatened, the fear of bombing hung in the air; trenches were dug across school playgrounds, air-raid shelters were dug in suburban backyards, some city children were evacuated to rural areas and air-raid drills were held.
Items per page: 10 50 (showing 1 - 10) 15 items
Black and white photograph showing the Altson family, taken in their family home in St Kilda in March 1943. It was taken by a professional photographer and mounted to celebrate an impor ...From: St Kilda, Australia Images: 1
Black and white photograph showing children riding on a miniature train, Sandringham, circa 1943. The train ride was organised for the 'Bomb Children of Britain' charity during World ...From: Sandringham, Australia Images: 1
Black and white photograph showing Faye Irvine aged two and a half years old at her home in Preston East, 1944-1945. Her father was away fighting in World War II, serving in New Guinea ...
Black and white photograph of Faye Irvine, aged 3 years and 7 months, and her mother Jean on the front verandah of their home in Preston East, in 1946. Faye's father was away fighting i ...
Black and white photograph showing Faye Irvine at her home, Preston East, 1946. She is putting firewood in a toy pram in the backyard. Faye's father had been away fighting in World War ...
Black and white photograph showing Kevin Greenhatch with two birthday cakes on his third birthday, in Prahran in March 1942. This photograph was taken to send to his father who was away ...From: Prahran, Australia Images: 1
Black and white photograph showing a Returned and Services League sports day and picnic at Silvan Reservoir in the Dandenong Ranges, in 1948 or 1949. The Beedles family took part in t ...Images: 1
Black and white photograph showing Donald Livermore about to leave to fight in World War II, saying goodbye to his daughter Lorraine at home in Brunswick West, about 1940.
Black and white photograph showing Donald Livermore, who was about to leave for service in World War II, with his wife Joyce in Brunswick West, 1940. Mr Livermore was a gunner who serve ...
Black and white photograph showing Joyce Livermore, Adele Smith and Lorraine Livermore in Brunswick West in 1943. The photograph shows three generations of women affected by their men ...