Love letters

22 February 2008 by Emma Jones

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.


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.