‘TIL THE BOYS COME HOME
We stood on the cliff top yesterday, waiting.
Look! Look! A ship.
We waved madly to them, laughing and crying, making great
flourishes of farewell with the tablecloth, leaving our picnic
scattered across the rocks.
The ship disappeared into the growing gloom.
This is such a dreadful time for Mothers everywhere.
(from Edie’s diary, 1915)
There are numerous accounts of the experiences of Australian men serving in WW1, from their diaries and letters sent home. But what of the women? Mothers, wives, sisters and girlfriends
who were left at home to carry on the minutae of daily living, to eagerly wait for news of those so far away, to live in fear of the death of or injury to those they loved, to offer the only support possible via their letters and home made items like knitted socks, jam and fruitcake lovingly sent in parcels to the Front.
Edie Digby kept a record of daily life at home in Sydney, inviting us into the world of an ordinary woman whose husband and two sons served in the Great War defending King and Country.
“I was fortunate to inherit Edie’s diary and other memorabilia including letters, postcards, and embroidered clothing, conserved through several generations,” says her great grand-daughter Penny Bristol Jones, “and now to be able to publicly display them, and hear her Diary and Letters read by Melbourne actors Maureen Hartley and Clare Larman is thrilling. I am also very proud that Edie won a Certificate of Merit with a gold brooch for her tireless work with the Red Cross, awarded only once a year.”
With original music by Nadine Budge (The Stetson Family) and visuals by Phoebe Hartley, ‘Til The Boys Come Home immerses us in a previously untold story, raising questions about the price of War on families and those whose responsibility it was to ’keep the home fires burning’.
Penny Bristol Jones is a Visual Artist and Teacher who has curated Exhibitions for Arts Festivals including Benalla Regional Gallery, and co-curated The Autistic Eye at Access Gallery, NGV. Researching her ancestral history for many years, Penny developed a website of family stories and in
2018 she was invited to Co. Roscommon, Ireland to present Sharing Stories, Making Connections, as part of Heritage Week.
Violet&Rose Productions: Clare Larman & Maureen Hartley, as Violet&Rose Productions, are creators of theatre and unique events from social history. Their long-term association and performances have included Vice & Virtue In Little Lon, the original Chocoholics’ Walks
and St Kilda Cemetery mobile performances / tours and most recently, This Thread Is Strong with an
accompanying exhibition Opening Maggie’s Trunk at Stonnington History Centre, Melbourne.
‘TIL THE BOYS COME HOME
An Installation of conserved Memorabilia
collated and exhibited by Brisbane visual artist Penny Bristol Jones
and Readings from the WW1 Diary and Letters of Edie Digby,
by Maureen Hartley and Clare Larman (Violet&Rose productions, Melbourne)
Saturday and Sunday May 25 & 26
Sat at 3pm and 7pm; Sun at 3pm
at Reload Espresso Bar,
9 Chrome St, Salisbury
as part of Anywhere Festival, Brisbane 2019
Bookings & information
Media Enquiries: Maureen Hartley
0488 166 477