Maker & role
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Susannah Place Collection, Museums of History New South Wales
All three of Ada and John’s sons enlisted in the First Australian Imperial Force. The eldest, Vinton, aged 21 and married with a young son of his own, was the first, joining up in August 1914. Frank signed up on 10 April 1915, aged 20, and his younger brother, Fred, joined up the next day. Fred, who was only 18, needed the written consent of his parents to join, and in his supporting letter John Gallagher wrote simply that his son was 'anxious to go to the front on service'.
Over the course of the war the brothers kept in touch with home via postcards. These were short and sometimes hastily penned messages from battlefields, training camps and hospitals, some written on the back of photographs printed as postcards, others written on special World War I souvenir postcards.
Ada kept the cards in this album, a practice known to her sons. In one undated card Frank asked his mother whether she had ‘been getting them other cards’ and added: 'I have sent you a good few. I suppose you will have to get another album to put them in'.
The album also contains many un-used postcards suggesting they were collected for their designs or as a souvenir.
Ada’s cherished album, along with another album filled with family photographs, was passed down through three generations of the Gallagher family, and in 2010 was donated to Susannah Place Museum by Ada’s great-granddaughter Terri Williams.