Historical information

Photographic record of overseas places visited by local resident who was a member of armed service during WW2.
Des Nicholson was born in Northcote in 1909. He enlisted in the military in mid 1940, having already served 2 years in the Citizens’ Forces. Before he signed up, he lived in Kew with his mother, Isabella. His enlistment documents indicate that he was employed as a transport driver, although his discharge papers state that he was a hairdresser. His photo album shows pictures of him demonstrating skills in that area in various deployments overseas; his enlistment documents refer to his unit being the 8th Division Petrol Company, while for much of his service he was assigned to Nursing Duties in the 2/7 Australian General Hospital.
His overseas postings included travels through India to the Middle East, Egypt and Greece. While fulfilling these duties, he was an interested photographer, keeping records of the sights he saw in many of the places he visited, as well as photos of the military living conditions and the people he worked with on a day-to-day basis. The ‘tourist’ photos Des took would be of particular interest as a current-day comparison for those folk who might be familiar with the locations he passed through.
After the war, Des again lived with his mother but eventually, in 1953, he married Kathleen Watson who lived in Eltham. The wider Watson family was well-known in the area, and the sisters Kathleen and Ruby were residents in the Glen Park area in Eltham North. After Des and Kath married they continued to live in Kath and Ruby’s house near where the current soccer and cricket sporting complex is now located. Ruby never married and they evidently stayed in the same place until, one by one, they each died in the early 2000s.


Photos taken by a resident of Eltham while on active service overseas

Physical description

Photo Album

Inscriptions & markings

On Front Cover: