Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This image is licensed under CC BY-NC

ID number ART21728
Title 'Rabbits' (Frank O'Neill and Able Seaman John Burke)
Collection Art
Object type Drawing
Maker Hodgkinson, Roy (Artist)
Place made New Guinea
Date made 1944
Medium charcoal heightened with white on paper
Measurement Overall: 50.5 x 39.6 cm


Drawing made to depict some well known humour to be used in the AWM Christmas Book "H.M.A.S Mark lll". Seen walking towards us is B2081 F.J. O'Niell, Royal Australian Naval Reserves (RANR). Able Seaman J.F Burke is the other figure. O'Niell is H.M.A.S Kapunda chief "rabbiteer". He makes souvenirs from damaged salvaged goods, mostly souvenirs from crashed Japanese aircraft and ammunition. He sells his trinkets, comprising ash trays, rings, picture frames, salt cellars etc. These articles, produced in this manner are known in Navy "slanguage" as "rabbits". The term "Tuck their ears in" is also well known throughout the Fleet and is used mainly on a man who is carrying excess gear. Between watches, almost every member of the mess deck spends his time making some sort of souvenir, New Guinea.