Item #6219 Basra, View across Euphrates 1946. Jessie Traill.
Jessie Traill

1881 - 1967

Basra, View across Euphrates 1946

23.7 x 28.2 cm
Signed, titled, dated and inscribed From BOAC delta 7/12/46, 5.30 Iraqi time

Provenance: Charles and Margaret Ranken, Avenel; thence by descent until 2022

Charles Ranken was a very good friend of Jessie Traill, and the executor of her estate.  “Cousin Jessie” as the family called her.

" In 1946, at the age of 65, she returned from England to Australia by Flying Boat, taking eight days, and making watercolour sketches from the window along the way. Many of these are now held in the LaTrobe Library, Melbourne." Extract: Sandra Lanteri, Brighton Historical Society. Link to full article

"After six long years, the Second World War ended and Jessie was free to travel again. The first trip she made was to her French relatives at Lille and La Bucaille  ... On 28 October 1946 Jessie purchased a ticket in London to travel by flying-boat to Sydney at the price of £260 - the equivalent to one year's average annual male wage at the time. She kept her ticket for the flight.  The journey was made from 5 to 13 December, Flight 13 Q79, Qantas, flying the Sunderland flying-boat the Howard to Singapore and then the Harwich to Sydney. This means of transport cut the boat voyage of five weeks to only a few days.

Whether Jessie chose to make her journey home in this new and expensive way because of the novelty of the experience, or because she knew that her sister Elsie was seriouysly ill, is unknown. However, Elsie, the sister with whom Jessie had shared a house at Sandringham and Harkaway and to whom she had written so many letters, died at their home on 9 December 1946, just a few days before Jessie arrived."  Extract:  Jo Oliver, Jessie Traill, A Biography, Arden, 2020 pp 258 , 271-272.

Item #6219


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