Photograph album of Cecil Franks' service during World War II

Photograph album of Cecil Franks' service during World War II
Sep 1941-31 Mar 1942

Photograph album compiled by Cecil Franks covering his service with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) No. 488 Squadron, a fighter squadron, as an equipment officer during World War II, 1941-1942. Photographs mainly taken by Franks. Album is extensively annotated with descriptions of photographs as well as a broader contextual narrative.

- Photographs show the September 1941 departure from Wellington on the ship 'Aquitania' and crossing the Tasman Ocean to Sydney. Images of Sydney include Bondi Beach, Hyde Park (ANZAC War Memorial, Archibald Fountain and St Mary's Cathedral), Harbour Bridge views, Taronga Zoo (including giraffe), a visit to a wildlife park North of the city (with boomerang throwing, wallabies, and koala sequences), and recreational activities at the Elizabeth Bay home (swimming pool) and on the yacht of Theo Kelly (Manager of Woolworths). Also contains a view of the 'Queen Mary' leaving Sydney Harbour.

- Voyage up the East Coast of Australia to Papua New Guinea shows troops doing various physical training exercises, playing quoits, and other ship board scenes. Papua New Guinea scenes include, Port Moresby, women and men in traditional dress (some selling necklaces), village scenes, and swimming scenes (including shark nets). Images from the continuing voyage feature a series of images of the crossing the line ceremony, including a man playing King Neptune and men being dipped in a mix of rotten eggs, flour, water, tomato, salt, and soot.

- The majority of Singapore images are Kallang Airbase scenes, including: local staff (an shoe cleaner from India and Chinese domestic assistant Wah Hing); Airmen's quarters; Brewster Buffalo fighter aircraft on the tarmac; rubber trees at the edge of the base; and Franks driving a 'Mosquito Bus'. A prominent series shows the airbase during and after Japanese air strikes, with wrecked buildings and planes as well. Further images show the continued destruction of the airbase by troops before they evacuated Singapore. Singapore recreational scenes prior to the Japanese invasion include: street scenes with wooden sandal peddler; Singapore Swimming Club scenes; ANZAC Club building; soldiers playing golf at the Governor's residence, with garden and house visible; and the Singapore Botanical Gardens.

- Franks was on board 'Empire Star' the last ship to leave Singapore during the evacuation. Images in this series include the Singaporean skyline, a destroyer in the convoy that suffered damage, people on deck (soldiers, nurses, civilians), men shaving, and an accordion player.

- A series of images from the Netherland East Indies with scenes of local woman carrying washing in Batavia, the Governor's Palace, and a local boy fishing. Also images of the voyage from Batavia to Australia on board the "Deucalion", scenes from Northam Military Camp in Perth (including sun bathing), train transporting soldiers to Adelaide, and disembarking from the ship in Auckland on 31 March 1942.

- Album also contains a group portrait of the RNZAF 488 Fighter Squadron, prior to disembarking for Singapore at the RNZAF base in Rongotai, Wellington. Notable and featured figures in the album include: Franks himself (numerous images), Mr W Taylor (Trade Commissioner for Australia), Ernie de Suza, Tony Cox, Wally Greenhalgh, Bob Scott, Theo Kelly (hosting the airmen at his Sydney home), Jim Ferguson, Don Wilson, Jack McAneny, Noel Sharp, Len Farr, G P 'Tiny' White, John Godsiff, Wally De Maus, Flight Sergeant Stevenson, Wah Hing, Frank Johnstone, Bunt Dellitt, Jack Burton, Percy Killick, Eddie Kuhn, Derek Charters, Peter Gifford, Flight Commander John R Hutchinson, W McKay, Corporal C Russell, E L Ragg, R H Edly, W Welch, Terry Honan, Jack Meharry, and Sergeant Howard-Taylor.

Quantity: 1 album(s) Album(s).

Physical Description: Red album bound with string and featuring an embossed image of a dog of the front cover, 27.5 x 37cm

Access restrictions
Partly restricted - Please use surrogate in place of original
1 album(s) Album(s), Photographs, Gelatin silver prints, Landscape photographs, Marines (Visual works), Red album bound with string and featuring an embossed image of a dog of the front cover, 27.5 x 37cm
See original record

Click to request to view this item, access digital version (if available), and see more information.


Purchasing this Item

This item is available as a high resolution download. A request to buy an image can take up to 10 working days to approve. It will depend on copyright and how the image is going to be used.

If this item has multiple pages, or is several items attached to a single record, you can use this form to order your copy.

Using this Item

You can copy this item for personal use, share it, and post it on a blog or website. It cannot be used commercially without permission, please ask us for advice. If reproducing this item, please maintain the integrity of the image (i.e. don't crop, recolour or overprint it), and ensure the following credit accompanies it:

Photograph album of Cecil Franks' service during World War II. Ref: PA1-o-1866. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/35040976

More information can be found in our terms of use.