Autographed and painted handkerchief made and sent by members of 8 Division in Malaya, 1941 to Miss Betty Guthrie
|Title||Autographed and painted handkerchief made and sent by members of 8 Division in Malaya, 1941 to Miss Betty Guthrie|
|Maker||Nash, (Given names unknown)|
|On display||Main building: World War 2 Gallery: Gallery 2|
Olive green cotton army issue handkerchief with drawings and autographs in indelible blue/purple ink. Down the centre of the handkerchief is an AIF soldier carrying a rifle, running through jungle. Beneath this is 'A.I.F. MALAYA. 1941' within a triangle flanked by two tiger's heads with an elephant's head underneath. The creator of the artwork has signed his work beside the soldier's feet 'Nash'. Beside the elephant's head is 'From Dave to Betty'. There are numerous signatures on each side of the artwork, all of 8th Division troops in Malaya in 1941. Some of the signatures cannot be deciphered.
Given to Miss Betty Hilda Aubrey Guthrie of Melbourne, when she was about 15 years old, by Dave S Barron, who was her father's chauffeur, handyman and gardener. Barron presented the handkerchief to her after his return to Australia in 1945. He was a member of 8 Division and was taken prisoner by the Japanese in 1942. Of the forty nine signatures on the handkerchief forty three can be definitely or tentatively identified. Of these the following men died, either in the Malayan campaign, or as prisoners of war of the Japanese: VX35497 Private T W Goldsworthy (Sandakan), VX34179 Signalman W A J Constable (Sandakan), NX21899 Private A E Bayley (Sandakan),NX55738 Private M J Fogarty (Sandakan), NX1999 Private W J McGowan (Sandakan), VX47945 Corporal H B O'Connor (Sandakan), NX25134 Private N Spears (Sandakan), QX14902 Lance Sergeant L V Powell (Sandakan), VX43884 Private H G Henderson (Malayan campaign), NX32413 Private M Gleeson (Malayan campaign), TX2953 Signalman E B Ledger (Burma), Private A McGregor (Thailand), NX51931 Corporal A J McGregor (Thailand) and NX52877 Private W C Verney (drowned en route to Japan).