Brothers Sisters & Sweethearts

Finding wonderful postcard images like these has a down side – when there are no identification notes on the back. Although knowing a name or service record is not everything, they are still poignant links to our past.

The image below is (most likely?) three sisters and a brother.

We have a date – 1919, and for the young man we know he had been on active duty, due to the rounded badge – “Issued by the Dept. of Defence – Returned from active service” it reads. The rectangular badges are Regimental Colours for Australian Light Horse units and the three in this photo appear to be white or yellow diagonally with a dark colour. At first glance it would be said to represent units from the 1st Light Horse Brigade (white & dark), or the 3rd Light Horse Brigade (yellow & dark). However they appear to be upside down, having the lighter colour on the top… Notice also the ‘A’ in the centre of these badges – this means the trooper served in the Gallipoli ‘Anzac’ campaign.

So did the girls all serve in the Light Horse? Not quite…

Their badges are what became affectionately known as ‘Sweetheart Badges’. Regiments took a lot of care to design and distribute well crafted and creative badges for their girls at home.


The image below, also unidentified, is also of what appears to be a brother and sister. The badge he is wearing is recognisable today as the ‘RSL’ badge. After the war it was called the ‘Returned Sailors & Soldiers Imperial League’ badge.

We can only wonder of the narrative each of these Australians represent. Did their ‘sweethearts’ all come home?

The postcard below ‘Lovingly Yours, Elsie 1918’ shows Elsie with what appears to be a battalion ‘sweetheart’ badge. It appears to be white over a dark colour (red) which would represent the 8th Infantry Battalion from Victoria. The card was found in Victoria…

June 2/6/18

To Dear Joe. With love & best wishes from Tot. C.