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Female impersonator (Private Victor Fox) 1945

by Geoffrey Mainwaring (1912–2000)

‘Drag’ acts were a popular form of entertainment for Australian troops in both world wars. An American war correspondent described a performance in New Guinea by Corporal Charles Stanton. Dressed in a coconut-stuffed bra, pink panties, rayon stockings with red garters, blond wig and full make-up, Stanton: 

…flirts outrageously with the soldiers in the front row, kicking up his leg and revealing his intriguing panties and flaming garter.  The applause, howls and laughter are deafening. Some soldiers simply stare, fascinated... He is so convincing that the soldiers singled out for his attention and caresses, blush furiously and lower their eyes, just as though a real woman were teasing them…  

Jules Archer, ‘Commando Performance’ Man 18 March 1943  

ON LOAN COURTESY OF THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL ART24388 


 

Reviewed 01 December 2021