Affiliate Member: Jeff Blore
In this interview Jeff Blore discusses his family's involvement in the First and Second World Wars and describes his involvement as an affiliate member of Caulfield RSL.
-The RSL has a close association with all my family going back to my father and his brother who was killed in France in the First World War. And my three brothers above me, they all served in the services. So I thought in my later years I would get affiliated with the club and do what I can to help out down here.
I didn't serve. The wars had finished. And I thought, well, this is my contribution. I'm particularly fond of going out selling ANZAC badges, tokens in April, and poppies in November.
It brings back memories, a lot of memories. Mostly good, because I remember the good times with family after the war was over, and we were all back together again. And I think it helps to overcome any sadness that I had for missing, missing out on those four or five years when my brothers were away.
I would have like to have learned a lot more. But like a lot of the members of the forces, they came back and did not want to talk too much about the war.
The only thing my dad used to talk about, he'd say your uncle George was killed in France. And I do recall that two or three times-- I was only growing up as a boy of course-- that he mentioned how his brother had been shot in France. And he never went into detail.
Dad had an old mandolin. And we'd ask him where the mandolin came from. He said that was my brother's mandolin. He took it over to France with him during the war-- First World War. And apparently, his possessions were handed in when they found he died. And it came on to my dad and he brought it home.
When my brother died, he was living with me two years ago. And he died, and family members came along to the funeral and started producing documents and everything about my father. You know, I'd never seen these things. But they'd been stored away in boxes for years, and none of the family had seen.
That got me very, very interested. From then on, I've been chasing stuff up. In the showcase here, there's a small desk set, which is known as trench art. Dad never commented but mum in later years told us the story of how it came about, that apparently when armistice came and he was being returned home, the unit presented him with this.
And you'll notice on the front here, my father's name Alf and my mother's name Elsi engraved on the old ink well. And on the side, there used to be a felt pad, where they used to wipe the pen nibs after use.
When it was at home, it was just sitting there. It was never actually used as a desk set. But I think in the early years, maybe when he first came home, both he and mum in those days that was pen and ink that may have used it.