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Experiences of War : Women and War : On the homefront

In the day-to-day domestic affairs of women who remained in civilian life there were the problems of shortages of many of the usual goods and services. Some basic foodstuffs, such as meat, tea and sugar were rationed.

Wives and mothers caring for families single-handedly were often lonely. Communications were limited by transport problems and restrictions imposed by censorship. Many endured the agony of long periods of uncertainty about the fate of their loved ones.

A series of letters received by the Dodd family following the death of their son, Howard, at Gallipoli illustrates the problems relatives had in getting information about those involved in action. Soldiers serving alongside Howard wrote the letters between February and April 1916. One comrade, W. Turner, wrote to Howard's sister,

I undertook upon myself the responsibility of opening your letter that arrived here today dated at yours Jan 5th-16th to your Brother Howard in which you say you are anxious and worried and I think that you have much cause to be the suspence you people are under must be awful. I have argued it out with myself all the day but why should I shirk to do what I deem my duty. why should you and all your home be kept anxiously waiting in uncertainty I...am an old school chum of (?) and many was the talk we had of home although we were only together for a brief period but in that time we lived the old school days over again and I was practically with him until the last. In Howard you all have a brother and a son that you all might be proud of for you have good cause. many the time was his name mentioned during that first terrible week on Gallipoli for his courage and steadiness until may the 2nd and poor fellow he was hit and fataly at that never speaking a word after they tell me that death was instantaneous.

The papers of the Duncan family comprising postcards and photographs sent by Alfred and Claude Duncan to their mother, Emily Duncan, during World War One include a telegram informing her that Alfred had been killed in action, letters of information about his death from the Australian Red Cross Society and a letter of condolence from South Australian Premier, AH Peake.

A.R.P. diaries of Lucy Lockett Ayers
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Broadcast to schools
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Defence Society
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Defence Society members practice shooting at Carrick Hi
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Defence Society Rifle Officer Collier practices shootin
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Defence Society roof watchers climb into position
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Female roof watcher in asbestos hood and gloves for fir
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Interview with Elva Morison
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Letter from A. H. Peake, Premier of South Australia to
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Letter reporting Private Alfred Duncan wounded in actio
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Members of the Soldiers' Mothers' Association.
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Minutes of the inaugural meeting of the Defence Society
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