Sir Frederic Eggleston and a young Keith Waller opened Australia's first diplomatic mission in China in 1941. Waller's colourful account of that episode is well known, and aficionados of Australian diplomatic history will recall pictures of Sir Frederick in a sedan chair. What are almost unknown are the stories of the supporting cast, the External Affairs employees without whom the fiendishly difficult Chungking mission would never have been established.
They included a former Shanghai policeman, a convicted (and habitual) criminal, a glamorous polyglot Russian, and a future member of the Australian Intelligence Corps and also British Force 136. This talk will be devoted to the backstory of the Chungking Legation, illustrated with photographs many of which have not hitherto been seen in Australia.
AIIA National Conference Centre
Stephen House, 32 Thesiger Court
Deakin, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
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