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Dressing up like someone from history is just one of the
ways you and your kids can discover democracy at the
Hands on democracy exhibition. They'll learn how to make
their voice heard, engage their creativity and lots more,
all at the Museum of Australian Democracy.
MAKE: SAY: DO
ADMISSION $2 ADULT
$1 CHILD/CONC & $5 FAMILY
KING GEORGE TERRACE, PARKES
PHONE 6270 8222
in 1939 that news of war reached him.
He subsequently enlisted in the Second
AIF on October 25 and was assigned the
number VX41. Based in Melbourne as
adjutant to Colonel Steele, Commander
Royal Engineers of 6 Division, Alfred made
frequent trips to Sydney to oversee the
formation of 2/1 Field Company.
Such frequent trips conveniently
enabled the two to spend time together
and allowed the relationship to blossom.
It was on one of these trips in mid
December that Alfred decided there
was no other so perfect for him and he
proposed to Isabel. Reluctantly admitting
to Isabel that work would take him north
once more in 10 days, the wedding day
was set as such.
During the 10 days between the
proposal and the ceremony, a dress was
made by Isabel's mother that, to this day,
exudes as much beauty as it did in 1939.
Isabel's wedding dress was typical of
the time period, with a flowing floor-
length ivory silk taffeta silhouette,
woven through with a pattern of ivory
and silver daisies, accompanied by a full
square-profile sleeve and a full bodice
with buttons in the front leading to a
Adorned with a cathedral-length
veil, Isabel would have no doubt turned
a few heads on her wedding day. The
spectacular dress has many of its own
untold stories to tell, with Isabel lending
it to five of her friends during the war,
due to the rationing of fabrics at the time.
On the evening of their wedding, both
Alfred and his new wife took the train
back to Melbourne, where Isabel moved
in with her new mother-in-law.
All the love they had for each other
however was not enough to stop the draw
of the war, with Alfred posted overseas
only weeks after the wedding.
Alfred ser ved in Palestine, Greece,
Crete and Syria, returning home briefly
before joining the New Guinea campaign.
After the war Alfred volunteered to serve
with BCOF and then remained in the army
until 1967. Upon his retirement he proved
that love can in fact conquer all, even war,
and he became the husband to Isabel and
father to their children that he had dreamt
of being through all the years of serving.
Isabel and Alfred's tale is just one
testament that love, romance and passion
help shape our lives, even in times of
hardship or sorrow.
The Australian War Memorial's special
exhibition, Of Love and War, examines the
impact of war on relationships and the ways
in which Australians incorporated affairs of
the heart into their wartime lives.
Exhibition curator, Rebecca Britt,
believes the tenderness visitors are exposed
to when learning about the lives of those in
love during war is heartwarming.
"Just like the story of Isabel and Alfred,
there are so many amazing couples with
stories to outlast a war, and to have the
chance to delve into such intimate details
KEEPING LOVE ALIVE: From left:
A wounded AIF soldier receives an
affectionate welcome home; Isabel
and Alfred Bell on their wedding
day; Isabel's wedding dress being
restored by textile conservator,
Jessie Firth, for display at the
Australian War Memorial.
Of Love and War
Where: Australian War Memorial
When: Until May 5
Phone: 6243 4211
The Australian War
exhibition, Of Love
and War, examines
the impact of war
and the ways in
of the heart into
their wartime lives.
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