February photo challenge: 18th Feb, Drink

A bit of research on Google revealed that this ad for Abbots Lager was painted near Tobruk, Libya, in January 1941 by the 6th Division of the Australian Army.  (‘Journey to Tobruk: John Murray – Bushman, Soldier, Survivor’ by Louise Austin). My father wrote under the photo:  ‘Australian beer is best’.


Weekly photo challenge: Down

I looked through the album for anything that triggered the thought ‘down’.  There are resting camels, soldiers downing grog, sinking ships, broken planes, a fallen propeller, and this one, a skeleton picked clean.  The seat can still hold a pilot! The caption in the album is ‘Wrecked Bomber’.


February photo challenge: 17th Feb, Time

This clock tower is in Beirut.  The caption my father wrote under the photo gave the town of Tripoli as the tower’s home, but a search for it on Google images showed me where it really is.  It was built in 1934 and survived the troubles in Lebanon in the 1970s and 80s.  Four new… Continue reading


Weekly photo challenge: Regret

This week’s theme has me questioning what are appropriate photos for a blog.  My submissions for this weekly photo challenge are all coming from my father’s war album, and this morning I had to choose between a number of photos that tell a story of regret.  In the end, I couldn’t put them on my… Continue reading


Weekly photo challenge: Ready

It was a toss-up tonight between two photos that suited the theme of ‘ready’.  One was of my father and his mates in the training camp, ready and waiting to be sent to the Middle East.  And there was this one of an Egyptian kitchen hand bearing about 50 plates with more behind him, ready… Continue reading


Waiting for the weekly challenge…

Perhaps these people were waiting for their weekly challenge, too. This is another photo from my father’s war album.  It would have been taken in the winter of 1941.  I researched the acronym he wrote next to Don Gray;  AACS probably means Army Airways Communications System personnel. Looks like a cold place to be waiting… Continue reading


February Photo challenge: 2nd Feb, Words

2nd Feb:  Words I found this photo in the war album.  I had to play with the levels because the words were barely visible in the original 2″ x 3″ photo, and I was amazed when I darkened it and saw what was written on this huge sign.  It’s derived from Winston Churchill’s London broadcast… Continue reading


Weekly photo challenge: hope

The wedding of an Australian General Hospital sister, approx. 1941.  The church is the Basilique Notre Dame d’Héliopolis, Cairo.  I’ve written a little about the church here, and included a photo of the whole structure. The nurse probably worked at the hospital in Kantara (also El Qantarah and several other spellings), Egypt, close to the… Continue reading


Weekly photo challenge: simple

In the album I found a few photos of Arabs snapped in the simplicity of their daily lives.  This one really narrows it down:  a shadeless desert, a man stopping to pray, a curious and patient camel.  Bowing over his mat in prayer, the Arab blocks out the Allied soldier behind the camera lens, and… Continue reading