A simple cotton apron which holds precious memories from the Second World War.


The apron was worn by Joan Mallen when she worked at the Cheer Up Hut on the banks of the Torrens, near the present Festival Theatre, during the Second World War. 


This apron is a memento of the volunteer work carried out on the Home Front during the Second World War in Adelaide. At the 'Cheer-up Hut' on the banks of the Torrens, Joan Mallen and her companions would provide a place for servicemen and ex-servicemen to socialise and relax by providing refreshments, company and entertainment. Joan Mallen liked to read to the servicemen. The apron was signed by volunteers, visitors and servicemen who slept at the 'Cheer-up Hut' to commemorate ANZAC Day.


White cotton apron with a long skirt. Consists of three gored panels attached to a waist band, with bib above. Bib has wide shoulder panels which extend to cross at the back and fasten to waist band with two covered buttons. Skirt has one pocket, when wrapped around the apron was fastened at the back with ties at waist band. There is a 25mm tuck at the hem of the skirt. Bib and skirt have signatures in pencil and ink by servicemen and Cheer Up Hut volunteers.


The apron is signed by several people , some dated 1946, those identified are:

Bib - Rosemary Norrie, Patricia Norrie, Willoughby Norrie, John Richardson, Eleanor Kerans, Mollie Preston,  ___ Barker, H Stanley Preston, ___ Read.

Skirt Left Panel - Shirley Cotterkath E Sanders, M. Kidman, L. E. Chase, ___ Adder ___, E Carlyle, Aj Williams, Edwina Mountbatten, Roy G Neil, S J Fitch, J Heinjns, Beryl Hughes, Jessie M Steward, Kathleen Jones, Fay Wuttke, Me Beckwith, Mahala Woollacott, Irene Wright, Constance Raven, Connie Echington.

Skirt Centre Panel - Colin Rielly, W Miller, Monica Slattery, Ni Gilbertson, Wk Latta, Marion Galvin, Catherine Watson, Im Crump, Wh Scott, Hli GL Seiboth   RAN, GC Row,   RAAF, Baby Of Bardia, SK Smith, Jon Dullman, WH Josephs, Shirlee Barrett, ___ Taylor   RAN, Patricia Buick, Shirley Bartlett; EF Cowling, WD Moyses, Robert Jenkins, ___, M Drennan, G Goyder, P Goyder, M Pomery, Judith Goyder, G Queale, Joan Collins, Dudley Matthews, Carol Bloustein, Joyce Craven, Mary Stevens, Joyce Rook, Dorothy Evans, Lorna Schlayk, A Routley

Skirt Right Panel - Merle Wells, H Woald, KP Schulz,  AIF, B Colville, F Smith 238 Squ. RAF, R G Thorpe, M Poole, EG Billinge, Frank E Bolton, H Emery, Sam Gill, MJ Richards, M Gillespie, HC Cook, JW Merritt, Gladstone H Jones, HLH Gerrard Port Pirie West, JR Marks, Jean White, Nell Cullen, Dorothy Sanders, Gwen Howley, WH Oates, BW Brown, M Stuart, Adrienne Lock, BE Roberts   RAN, RAN   G Bloor, John S Heyne, R. Hon   RAC L Trembith, Geoffry Norman Simpson, A Anderson, J Ian Kier, RAN, Molly Bartlett, LR Lanning   RAN, Eric J Batten  RAAF, Hal May   RAN, HWB Anderson, Ruby Nock, Lucy Barnett, MR Barker, Jessie M Kiddy, EA Mccullagh, Alan Ewers, G Hawkes, D, M, Ross, PM Trebilcock, E Cocking, Daisy Hay MBE, Joan Mallen


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Second World War

Apron worn by Joan Mallen when she worked at the Cheer Up Hut during the Second World War.
Courtesy of/Photographer:Rachel Harris, Bit Scribbly Design

Apron, Migration Museum collection, HT 2003.104, donated by Georgina Simpson.

Studio portrait of Joan Mallen wearing her Red Cross badge, 1944
Courtesy of/Photographer:Georgina Simpson

Migration Museum photographic collection, PN04883

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