My father kept seven telegrams from the war years. Collectively they tell the story of his war experiences. They provide a chronology of the critical moments in his life as a soldier of the 2/19th battalion, AIF. The original envelopes were also kept and they are reproduced as an indicator of life on the home front.

January 31st 1942

This telegram informs Francis Xavier Larkin Snr’s family that he has been reported missing.

Telegram dated 31st January 1942

February 3rd 1943

This telegram informs Francis Xavier Larkin Snr’s family that he is now reported as a prisoner of war.

Telegram dated 3rd February 1943

February 4th 1943

This telegram was sent by Frank’s brother Bill to his family in Wollongong. The telegram was sent from Newcastle, NSW.

Telegram dated 4th February 1943

September 25th 1945

This telegram reports that Francis Xavier Larkin Snr has been reported liberated in Japan on the 13th September, 1945.

Telegram dated 25th September 1945

September 29th 1945

This telegram advises that Frank is now in Manila, receiving medical attention and recovering from his ordeal.

Telegram dated 29th September 1945

October 2nd 1945

A telegram from Frank inofrming his family that he has arrived in Manila and that he is safe and well.

Telegram dated 2nd October 1945

October 13th 1945

A telegram from the Army to Frank’s family advising that he will be arriving at Ingleburn Army Camp on the 15th October.

Telegram dated 13th October 1945

Warnings to the general public on the envelopes

The front and reverse of a telegram envelope. The messages from the government to the people provide an insight into life in Australia during wartime.

Telegram envelope front

Telegram envelope reverse


Two advertisements from the Postmaster General that appeared on the reverse of the actual telegrams.

Reverse of telegram

Reverse of telegram