Historical information

The letters address three parents of daughters who attended Ruyton Girls' School at the time — Mrs Friedman, Mrs Horan and Mrs McDonald. The letters invite the three mothers to make a contribution to the School's war scholarship fund by making homemade sandwiches or cakes to help cater the annual School dance, or providing a small financial donation towards it. Although the letters are signed by Hilda Daniell, given that the handwriting differs across all three examples, it is possible the content of the letters were scribed by a student or assistant to the Principal.

The war scholarship fund (also referred to as the Scholarship Fund) was managed by the treasurer of the Old Ruytonian's Association (ORA); Ruyton's alumnae community. The earliest mention of Ruyton's war scholarship fund is in the Ruytonian December 1918, which recalls how the Senior Dramatic Club performed Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" in the Kew Recreation Hall and raised over £100 to "provide a Ruyton scholarship for the daughter of a soldier who has given his life for his country." In the Ruytonian December 1955, the criteria for the war scholarship fund was revised to prioritise students in the following order: the child of a deceased serviceman, an ex-serviceman, and an Old Ruytonian. Other editions of the Ruytonian from this period recount how students also participated in fundraising activities to support the scholarship. It is unclear when the war scholarship fund ceased.


The letters are historically significant as they were written by Miss Hilda Daniell, the longest serving Principal of Ruyton Girls' School from 1913-1952. She had enrolled as a student at Ruyton in 1893, and then appeared in a list of teaching staff dated 1898. When Hilda became Principal in 1913, Ruyton was still located on A'Beckett Street in Kew, Victoria. Hilda had purchased "Tarring" (now Henty House) from the old Henty family estate in 1919 to accommodate the growing School. In 1920, Hilda, teachers and the students moved to Ruyton's new location at "Tarring", 12 Selbourne Rd, Kew. The building became home for Ruyton’s boarding students and included a flat for Hilda to live onsite. Hilda passed away in March 1970.

The record's significance is also supported by its strong provenance, having been produced by Ruyton Girls' School and donated to the Archives by the daughter of a former student.

Physical description

Three individual loose sheets of cream coloured paper, each printed with Ruyton Girls' School's name and emblem. All sheets are handwritten with black/charcoal ink and signed by H. (Hilda) Daniell.

Inscriptions & markings

RGS008/2024/0007.1 /

RGS008/2024/0007.2 /

RGS008/2024/0007.3 /