Sunday, 25 May 2014

Telegram Twitter

At a cost calculated by word, this was so much easier to compose than a tweet of 140 characters. Ross sent this to his father on 25th November 1939 from Port Kembla (which is part of Wollongong). His affinity for the water shines through. The promised letter was not written until 1st December 1939. I guess they were kept busy. In all his correspondence, there is a stress upon security and "loose lips".

Here is the envelope for the long-awaited letter. Note, in the bottom left-hand (LH) corner: "PS: Dad's first". The reverse of the envelope heralds: "QUIS NON SEPARABIT", which translates as "Who shall separate us?" At this point he knew he would sail for England the very next day, on a journey scheduled to last 70 days, 30 to Durban and another 40 to the UK. He was never to return. The Latin on the back of the envelope seems ironic down through the years.

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