Friday 22 February 2008 by Emma Jones. 7 comments
Personal Stories

As valentine's day was only last week, I thought some would like a glimpse at one of the love letters we hold in our Private Records collection. Lieutenant Colin Douglas Simper of the 2/48 Australian Infantry Battalion met Irene at a dance in South Australian and were married at short notice at her family home in Blackwood on 12 December 1941. Often posted away, Colin regularly wrote to his wife, pouring his emotions, feelings, hopes and fears into his letters.

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He was posted overseas to Tarakan in April 1945 and in June was injured and later died of his wounds. His collection of letters to Irene, along with other items such as photographs, a sweetheart brooch and a horseshoe charm Irene carried on her wedding day, were donated to the Memorial. Although this story has a sad ending, the themes of love, longing and hope are echoed in other collections of letters held by the Memorial, covering conflicts from the First World War to modern day.

Comments

alivicwil

How sweet... Thanks for sharing those items, Emma.

Samantha Bastian

That is so sweet. It is good to see that men involved in war still had the time to show their affection for their wives. Is there any chance the letter shown in the picture could be written down? I am doing a school assignment on letters from war and I would love to read this letter. Thanks

maddy

how sweet darling he must have been very nice man

David Woods

Samantha, Here's a transcript as best as I can make out: Well its my turn to write now and you'll probably think I'm batty to but I'm not. I'm just as crazy as anyone can be that's all. I just read your letter again dear and I tell you this much if only I could get the necessary money I'd bowl right into Woolworth's and spirit you off to get married now. Since... on my hands... I can fool about a bit so don't imagine I've gone completely out of my head. Its just these are the only words I can think of.. Gee but I'm probably the happiest man in camp. How will it be when we are first engaged and then married. Picture me darling as I write around and around in a circle I love you I love you.. I tell you personally tonight you'll hear nothing else. Still you won't get this till tomorrow.. well dear I'll leave... I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you Good luck with your project David

Zoe

that was so sweet

damien colin simper

That was written by my Grandpa! Wow I can't believe I found this. Amazing and very emotional. I wish I could have known him.

Emma Jones says:

Hi Damien, So glad you found this letter. Your grandfather's letters and some other items are in the AWM collection, some of which recently featured in our "Of Love and War" exhibition, which is currently touring Australia. It may come to a museum or gallery near you, so check the dates. You can also search for his material in our online database by using the search term "Colin Simper". Emma Jones