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It is Anzac Day here in Australia, in beautiful New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn Islands, and Tonga. It is also commemorated in Papua New Guinea and Samoa. Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance that commemorates all from those places “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”.

Today a new centre to honour our contribution to campaigns on the Western Front was opened by our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The Centre is named after General Sir John Monash, “who led the Australian Corps with outstanding success on the Western Front in 1918, including the famous 4 July 1918 victory at Le Hamel”. It is located at the Australian National Memorial near Villers-Bretonneux in France.

Having a laugh, France 1944

I do not have any photobooth photos of Australian soldiers in France but I want to share some to represent all the people who fought far from home in any war, at any time. I feel very privileged to own this group of World War 2 era photos, taken by American soldiers somewhere in France in 1944 and 1945. They evoke very melancholy emotions, which are at once full of admiration at the sacrifices made and the courage it must’ve taken to fight, while at the same time they stir a deep, deep sadness and dismay that we are still fighting senseless wars and killing our fellow men, women and children.

Above is handsome Lawler. Both images are dated 1944 and were taken on different days in France.

This is Brice or Bruce. 1945 France.

Above are two more from the same group, also probably taken in France. I know nothing about the uniforms or even if they are all in uniform. I don’t know what the pin on the lapel of one soldier indicates or if the hat Lawler is wearing indicates his rank. I hope some of the details will be filled in for me, by you.

photoboothSultry1940sWW2couple

Someone has kept these two battered and dirty photobooth photos side by side for a long time, possibly in a purse or wallet. They found their way to a US flea market in unison, too.

With no information on the backs, these photos could have been taken anywhere, but the uniform of the soldier and the style of luxurious, tumbling curls of the young woman mark these as having been made at a particular time; WW2. There is a melancholy look to their smiles. Was it a wartime romance cut short by an imminent departure for duty, perhaps?

It is cute that they both blinked at the same time in the second image. It gives the impression that they are both meditating on their love, sending their thoughts to each other through their heads-together embrace. You can see the soldier’s hand at bottom right of each image, holding his girl tight. He never wanted to let her go.

I hope it wasn’t just the photos that remained together. Now that these photos are mine, I can guarantee, that at least in these two dimensions, they will never be parted.

 

 

These two boys are a wonderful pair. What a lovely affectionate pose! They are cute as all get out, with their rakishly tilted caps and loose neck ties, not to mention the rose bud in one lapel. There heads just resting together and those smiles, make me love them both. The feminity of the features of the owner of the magnificent ‘tache made me think briefly that it was a woman in drag but I have dismissed that idea. Do you agree?

photobooth2sailorsGreatMo.

 

This photo comes from an album of photos that mostly were dated 1941. It measures  37 x 52 mm and came from the USA.

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