1. I assume this one was sent from the ship. It is sent via ‘GLT’ rather than ‘EFT’ which is the method for all others. The Hobart date stamp shows 15 June 40. The lodgement advice shows it originated ‘abroad’ (whereas the next one says Gt Britain) and I assume the time is 5.10pm on the 9th….though why they would use a 12 hour clock on board ship is a bit of a mystery!
Unlike all others, it is addressed to Dad’s father not his mother, and is a single word – Greetings – followed by his surname (Hickman) rather than Max or Max Hickman. I assume one of these was sent on behalf of each man on the ship, before making landfall. As a later letter comments with concern on his mother’s report that she has received no mail, I am sure she must have welcomed even this one word notification confirming that he was at least still alive after a much longer than expected voyage.
I am intrigued by the fact that it was telephoned through to my grandparents at W1839. For all their married life, my parents lived in Pottery Rd – as my grandparents had done previously. Nan and Pop moved to Courtney Street before I was born, but although we didn’t live in the house they had left, it seems we managed to inherit their phone number….since the one I committed to memory as a child was first of all 81839 then 281839, which finally became 62281839.
2. Although this one is also from ‘Hickman’ rather than Max, it has a more personal tone – England fit and well Love... It appears to have been sent (via Cable/ EFM) on the 22nd June and received on the 24th.
I love the advertisements on the back of these first two telegrams:
CONSIDER THE ADVANTAGES OF A TELEPHONE IN THE HOME!
It contributes much to the security, happiness and efficiency of the household
As a rule, the rental is less than 2/- per week (even lower in the Country)
APPLY FOR A SERVICE TODAY – THERE IS NO INSTALLATION FEE
INSTALL THE MODERN HANDSET TELEPHONE!
It is shapely in form and convenient to use
It combines grace of line with efficiency in working
And it costs only 2d per week more than an instrument of the (–??) pedestal type
THE DEPARTMENT WILL GLADLY REPLACE YOUR EXISTING TELEPHONE WITH ONE OF THE HANDSET TYPE
3. Hand written Birthday Greetings
This cable was sent (via Cable/ EFM) from London on July 16 – Happy Birthday Mother love Max Hickman
It appears to have come through to and been delivered by the New Town Post Office (I assume there wasn’t one in Lenah Valley at that time): there is no stamp confirming that the the message was phoned through. The numbers at the end may indicate a time of delivery (9.8)
The back of the telegram is blank.
4. Social Telegram: Mail from home
Like his mother, Dad was desperate for news of family and friends. Finally in early August he received his first letters and telegrams – some of which arrived after very convoluted journeys. The message here is of relief – Received some mail love Max Hickman.
I can’t decipher the date on the stamp. It could be 109040 Which would be a strange way of saying September 10 – though that’s possible. Unlike the others it was sent ‘via Beam’.
This one is also blank on the back. The numbers at the bottom may once again indicate a time of delivery (9.34pm).