An optometrist's war 1940 - 1945. The letters of Ken MacFarlane

Catalogue Number: 1473
An optometrist's war 1940 - 1945. The letters of Ken MacFarlane
Category: Papers
Sub-Category: Biographical notes, obituary
Author: Ken Macfarlane (complied by Heather Haughton)
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 2011
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Melbourne
Publisher/Manufacturer: Optometrists Association Australia
Description Of Item: (1) 32 paginated A4 pages of single sided typescript being extracts from letters from Ken MacFarlane to his wife Eileen and his father that give an account of his time in 2/7 AGH eye clinic during World War 2. (2) Booklet, illustrated printed paper covers. 22 paginated pages, 6 black and white photographs being the letters as published by the Optometrists Association Australia. (3) Review of 'Au Revoir, My Darling' (see note below) from Aust Optometry Apr 2011
Historical Significance: Ken MacFarlane was a Melbourne optometrist whose practice was originally his father's, Ernest, at 13 Gertude Street Fitzroy. Ernest had purchased the practice in about 1905 from a Mr Pugh These letters give insights into the role of optometrists during World War 2. Ken MacFarlane was the optometrist assistant to oculist Major J Bruce Hamilton, a Tasmanian ophthalmologist. MacFarlane enlisted in 1940 and served in Puckapunel, Palestine, Syria, North Africa and New Guinea. He began as a corporal and was promoted to sergeant and then obtained commissioned rank in 1943. The letters are also published in part in Haughton H. 'Au revoir my darling : an intimate correspondence 1940-1945' Chatswood NSW; New Holland 2010. See Cat No109 for the FIO certificate of Ernest MacFarlane dated 1930. Picture is from the front cover of the published version of the letters.
How Acquired: Donated by (1) Ms Heather Haughton, daughter of Ken MacFarlane (2) Optometrists Association Australia
Date Acquired: 2010
Condition: Good
Location: Archive office. Pamphlet and ephemera filing cabinet. Drawer 3

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