File F1565 - Prefatory sonnet [and] Christmas at the officers' mess (anniversary of Eureka stockade)

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Prefatory sonnet [and] Christmas at the officers' mess (anniversary of Eureka stockade)


  • 1979 (Creation)
  • 1939-1945 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

2 leaves ; 25cm.

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

John Manifold, poet, was born in Melbourne and educated at Geelong Church of England Grammar School and Jesus College, Cambridge, where he became a member of the Communist Party. During the Second World War, he served in the British Army's Intelligence Corps in Africa and Western Europe. After the war he moved back to London before returning to Australia in 1949, settling in Wynnum, Brisbane. Manifold established the Realist Writers group in 1950, and was involved in a number of communist-associated groups, including the Communist Arts Group. As well as publishing poetry, he wrote non-fiction on various themes, notably Australian bush ballads which he collected and was particularly interested in.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Kathleen Kinkead Watson was born on 13 January 1911 in Brisbane. She won a scholarship to University of Queensland when it was located in George Street. Kath Watson wrote poetry into the 1980s. She joined the Communist Party in 1940 and was politically active in the labour movement from the 1940s. She worked in the trade union movement including for the Union of Australian Women in fighting for equal pay. She married Harvey Alfred Pete Thomas and it is by her married name, Kath Thomas, that she is most remembered. Throughout the 1970s Watson continued preparing submissions to the Federal Government on the role and status of women. She died on 3 October 1994.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by Kath Watson, 1979.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Unpublished, two handwritten poems by John Manifold, undated. Accompanied by a typescript note from Kath Watson, signed, about the poems and their author, dated July 1979. Kath notes that she thought the poems were written when Manifold was serving in the British Army, somewhere in Africa.

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Conditions governing access

Unrestricted access.

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In copyright. Can be reproduced for personal research and study. For other uses see About copyright. Please attribute the Fryer Library

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  • English

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Revised, Linda Justo, 7-Feb-2024. Migrated from LMS: April 2019, P.A.




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