Historical information

Depicted is a handwritten note written by Thomas "Tom" Lacey. It is addressed to his sister, Maude. This letter accompanies a portrait of Tom dressed in an Australian army uniform (record number 3417.1). Tom was a resident of Beechworth, and was only nineteen years old when he fought in World War I.


The record is historically significant due to its connection to World War I. This conflict is integral to Australian culture as it was the single greatest loss of life and the greatest repatriation of casualties in the country's history. Australia’s involvement in the First World War began when Britain and Germany went to war on 4 August 1914. The first significant Australian action of the war was the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force’s (ANMEF) landing on Rabaul on 11 September 1914. The ANMEF took possession of German New Guinea at Toma on 17 September 1914 and of the neighbouring islands of the Bismarck Archipelago in October 1914. On 9 November 1914, the Royal Australian Navy made a major contribution when HMAS Sydney destroyed the German raider SMS Emden.

On 25 April 1915, members of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) landed on Gallipoli in Turkey with troops from New Zealand, Britain, and France. This began a campaign that ended with an evacuation of allied troops beginning in December 1915. The next year, Australian forces fought campaigns on the Western Front and in the Middle East.

The record has strong research potential. This is due to the ongoing public and scholarly interest in war, history, and especially the ANZAC legend, which is commemorated annually on 25 April, known as ANZAC Day.

Physical description

Sepia rectangular postcard printed on paper.

Inscriptions & markings

My Dear Sister /
I will /
write /
you /
a long /
letter /
next /
week /
Just a line /
in (?) to your letter /
which I received two /
days ago. I suppose you /
used to wonder why I /
never wrote but it is /
pretty hard to get /
writting paper at /
(?). Well maud /
I suppose you heard /
about me getting around /
I was shot through the /
both legs but my poor /
old mate got killed /
straight out. I tell you /
I do miss him. /
I am glad you like /
your new place. /
Do you ever see Mary Y(?) /
I had not had a letter /
from her for 3 months /
I have had a good /
rest since I came out /
of hospital I have been to /
Cairo twice. Do you ever /
get any letters from Dave /
(?) him to drop me a /
line some of these days /
Well Maud I would like /
to spend next XMAS with /
you but that not my luck /
this is all the new good by Tom /