The Galleries of Remembrance are closed for maintenance on Wednesday 28 February. The Shrine’s commemorative spaces remain open for visitors.
Stories of service and sacrifice may cause distress.
See this resource list for help.

Separation

Time and distance, trauma, and death conspire to keep lovers apart.

Separation may intensify their longing for one another but can just as easily erode the bonds that sustain their relationship.

The spectre of infidelity hovers over all couples in wartime.


Jessie, 1940

by William Edwin Pidgeon (1909–81)

REPRODUCED COURTESY OF THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL ART94590

Maintaining an open line of communication to a loved one serving overseas is among the greatest challenges faced by any wartime couple. News of pregnancies (wanted and unwanted), affairs, proposals of marriage, heart-felt apologies and break-ups have all been handled remotely. The letters of past wars have been supplemented by new communications technologies—telegrams, lettergrams, recorded messages, e-mail, satellite calls, Facebook and Zoom.


‘Macka’ sleeping in tent, Diego Garcia

by Peter Churcher (b. 1964)

ON LOAN COURTESY OF THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL ART91760

…The young man is a mechanic for the FA-18 Hornets and had been on night duty. I was able to work on him in his makeshift environment whilst he slept through the day. Little moments in the image struck me as poignant: the teddy bear a parting gift from his wife; the photographs of his wife and dog along with the pin-up posters.

—Peter Churcher


‘To Wish You a Speedy and Safe Return’ ,1918

personalised photographic postcard sent to Trooper James Robert Hay, 15th Light Horse Regiment

SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE COLLECTION

Female Relatives Badges

SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE COLLECTION
For the Women of Australia 1917–18
Royal Australian Navy
To women of Australia: For duty done 1917–18
Australian Imperial Force

The Royal Australian Navy and Army issued these badges to the closest female relative of men serving overseas—usually a wife, or, for the unmarried, mother. The badges were an acknowledgment of the sacrifice the women were making and a call to other women to relinquish their own men to the war effort.


Heart shaped sweetheart brooch, c 1942–45

Gifted to Edna Lyons by her husband, Corporal William Lyons, Royal Australian Air Force

SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE COLLECTION

Brooches of various designs—handmade ‘trench art’ and those acquired commercially—were commonly sent home to wives and girlfriends during both world wars. Men risking their lives far from home, no doubt, hoped the jewellery would ward off prospective suitors while they were away.


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