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ANMM Collection Reproduced courtesy Carolyn Smith

Reference letter for John Gill

Date: 1956
Dimensions:
Overall: 242 x 192 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Carolyn Smith
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Letter
Object No: ANMS1135[001]
Related Place:Derbyshire,

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    Description
    This collection of personal belongings, documents, souvenirs and photographs relates to the migration of John and Gladys Gill from England to Australia in 1956. It includes documents of identity, photographs illustrating the entire voyage from Buxton to Sydney on STRATHMORE, souvenirs acquired en route, and a series of employment references - as requested by the Australian Government for migrants travelling under the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme.
    SignificanceThe collection relates to a significant period in Australian immigration history, when the Australian Government assisted more than one million Britons to emigrate after World War II in a bid to 'populate or perish.'
    HistoryJohn Vivian Gill (1919-1994) and his wife Gladys Patricia Gill (nee Parker) (1924-1994) migrated from Buxton, England to Sydney, Australia in March 1956 under the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme. They were accompanied by John's mother Mrs E Gill, sister Mrs J Griffin, 11 year old nephew Teddy and brother-in-law Mr T E Parker. The family was joining John's father Frederick John Gill in Sydney, where John believed "the prospects are better and the climate a good deal more favourable."

    The family sailed from Tilbury on the P&O liner STRATHMORE on 30 March 1956. STRATHMORE was launched on 4 April 1935, with accommodation for 445 first and 665 tourist class passengers and air conditioning in the first class dining room - a first for a P&O vessel. It departed Tilbury on its maiden voyage to Bombay and Australia on 26 October 1935, setting a new record for the run to Bombay.

    STRATHMORE was requisitioned as a troopship during World War II. It was involved in the North African landings and was then used to repatriate troops after the war. In 1948 STRATHMORE was refitted in Newcastle to accommodate 497 first and 487 tourist class passengers. In the early 1960s, as demand for assisted migrant passages declined, it was converted to a one-class ship for 1,200 passengers.

    STRATHMORE completed its final voyage to Australia in 1963 and was then sold to Greek ship owner John S Latsis. It was renamed MARIANNA LATSI and used to transport pilgrims to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, before being broken up in Italy in 1969.

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