boxall and harkness: the odd couple
Alfred and Jessica.
Picture them seated at a secluded table in the beer garden of the Clifton Gardens Hotel on a warm summer evening of dinner, drinks and laughter.
‘Waiter, if you please – another bottle of Dom, and more oysters.’
At the close of the evening Jessica gave Alf an inscribed book of verse: a gift soldiers sometimes gave their wives when they went to war. Or a wife to her husband.
A rubaiyat, inscribed with a meaningful, regretful verse.
With this scenario you could queue in Andre Rieu and massed violins.
Looking at those two you would be humming Love is in the Air.
16 October 1946 – emplaned Rabaul.
18 October 1946 – deplaned Brisbane.
21 January 1947 – joined the Crusader.
October 1946 – pregnant.
Boxall was demobbed from his SWPA* unit and sent south, back to Sydney for leave and to await reassignment. It was during this time he met Jessica at the Clifton Gardens Hotel and she gave him an inscribed (verse 70) copy of the rubaiyat.
*South West Pacific Area – as defined by General MacArthur
Andre Rieu, laying it down.