May’s birthday drawing from Reg in Palestine, 12 October 1918.

A small painting hangs on my living room wall. If you look closely you will discover a story in its picture(s).  It is 1918 and the world is at war.  In the small coastal town of Perth, West Australia, life goes on as usual. There are very few young men. War, on the other side of the world, has claimed their services in Gallipoli, Britain, France and the Middle East.
Marion, a young woman in her twenties is excited. She has just received a birthday card painted by her fiancé from his tent in Palestine where he serves with the 10th Light Horse Regiment. She looks carefully at every detail - her name in one corner linking it to his army tent. The scroll with the words ‘Happy Birthday’ written so beautifully in that familiar hand. How has he managed such delicate work while desert winds and sand swirl around him? She looks intently at the background and the figures in a rowing boat on the river - their river. She remembers again the fears, the hopes, the hidden tears. Does she dare believe he will come safely home again? As she lays it aside she vows she will keep this treasure and proof of his love forever.

Doreen Walters, 2016