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  • Title
    Vasco Loureiro (Louis Vasco) letters from from England and France, 1916-1918
  • Creator
  • Call number
    MLMSS 8191/Box 1X
  • Level of description
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
  • Physical Description
    0.40 metres of textual material (7 items in outsize box) - manuscript

    Born Vasco Loureiro in Brixton, London, he grew up in Melbourne and studied art at the National Gallery of Victoria from 1902-1905. His father, Artur Jose Loureiro was an accomplished artist, originally from Portugal. They emigrated to Australia in 1885. Vasco later moved to Sydney, drawing caricatures for a shilling for ferry passengers. After his Tasmanian mother Maria Huybers passed away in 1907 he sailed abroad to America, where he again used his skill to draw a face in a few simple lines on a postcard. He also travelled to Europe and Papua New Guinea retuning back to Australia before the conflicts began.

    He married Gwendolyn Dunlop around the time he enlisted in Brisbane on 11 May 1916. His original typed attestation form stated he was not married and she was his ‘lady friend’. The form had been adjusted to a ‘yes’ for marriage and to his ‘trade or calling’ of ‘caricature artist’ was added ‘and draftsman’. Vasco left Australia for Devonport, England on 11 November 1916, arriving some 80 days later on the troopship Suevic.

    As part of the 11th Field Company Engineers, his responsibility included constructing the lines of defence, temporary bridges, tunnels and trenches, observation posts, roads, railways, communication lines. They were also involved in constructing buildings, showering and bathing facilities.

    Louis Vasco reported sick in early May 1918 and was transferred to England where he was hospitalised at Middlesex War Hospital at St Albans, north of London. He died of disease on 3 August, 1918 and was buried at St Albans' Hatfield Road Cemetery in an area set aside for Commonwealth war graves.

    Vasco Loureiro (Louis Vasco). State Library of New South Wales. https://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/ (accessed 28 December 2018).
  • Scope and Content
    3 autograph letters signed by Louis Vasco to his wife Gwendolyn, dated 25 June 1917 ("Somewhere in France"); 20 June 1918 (General Hospital, France) and 30 June 1918 ("Somewhere in England").
    1 photocopied letter, incomplete, 6 January 1918 (Sunday in Flanders) to unknown individual named Poppy.
    1 mounted letter to the Trustees of the Brisbane Museum, 29 October 1916.

    The letters to his wife include watercolour drawings.
  • Copying Conditions
    Copyright status:: In copyright
    Copyright holder:: State Library of New South Wales
    Rights and Restrictions Information:: May be copied for reference and publication
    Please acknowledge:: Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
  • Finding Aids
  • General note

    State Library of New South Wales collection of World War I letters
    Letter to Poppy was transferred from PX*D 396, 25 September 1984
    Digital order no:Album ID : 1081229
  • Subject
  • Exhibited in

    Life Interrupted: Personal Diaries from World War I - State Library of New South Wales (5 July - 21 September, 2014)
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