On the evening of 18 February 1942, Darwin postal clerk Arthur Wellington wrote a letter to his wife and daughter back home in Adelaide. It described vivid images of life in a town that many feared might soon be obliterated by war. Like so many others, Arthur tried to shrug off that awful possibility and to reassure his family that everything would be all right. Just after one o'clock on the morning of 19 February, Arthur signed off his letter “Sweet dreams my sweethearts, and loads of kisses and hugs to you both”. It was the last letter Arthur Wellington ever wrote. He was killed when a bomb fell on the Darwin Post Office just a few hours later during the first Japanese air attack on Darwin. Exactly 75 years later, historian Peter Forrest will tell the story of Arthur Wellington and the bombing of the Darwin post office at a free talk at Northern Territory Library this Saturday 18 February at 3pm.


Published: 12 February 2017


Picture: Peter Forrest

Forgotten Territory was a weekly photo column of historic images in the Northern Territory News which I curated from 2016 until 2019 supported by the collections of the Northern Territory Library and other cultural institutions around Australia, as well as local history Facebook groups. 

Click on the images to read the story behind the image.

Warning: May contain images of people who have died.

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These works were made on Arrernte, Larrakia, Gaddigal and Lenape land that was never ceded