Wednesday 7 May 2008 by Kathryn Hicks. 5 comments
News, Personal Stories, Private Records


When searching through the Memorial's Private Records collection this item was found. The telegram was sent from Able Seaman Rex Cooper to his mother on Mother's Day 1941. Born in 1920, Rex Cooper joined the RAN in March 1938. He became part of the crew of HMAS Sydney as an Ordinary Seaman in September 1938. He was promoted to Able Seaman in 1939 and served on the Sydney until his death in 1941. Also held in the collection is a diary written by Rex Cooper ranging from 1939 to February 1941. It covers life aboard the Sydney. Below is the page written when he joined the ship.


The Memorial also holds photographs of Rex Cooper in its collection. The photograph below is attached to his Roll of Honour entry.


More information


Bob Meade

Poignant. How did these items come to be in the AWM collection? What is their provenance?

Kathryn Hicks (AWM)

For Bob Meade: These items were generously donated to the AWM by a member of the family.

Bob Meade

Thanks. That's what I thought would be the case, and I suppose it is often.


what exactly does the diary say? the writting is to difficut for me to be able to read

June Braine

Rex Cooper was my uncle on my mothers side. He was one of eight siblings. My grandmother never gave up hope that he may have been taken prisoner of war and would come back alive.
I would like to hear from anyone who knew him.