Over the past century, the Australian Government has employed thousands of people in a wide range of occupations and positions. From army generals and departmental heads to clerks and typists, each has contributed to the governing of the country.
The Commonwealth records held by the National Archives were created by these public servants as they went about their work. They wrote memos and letters, sent telegrams, drew maps and plans, filled in forms, wrote journals and kept accounts. In these documents they recorded not only the work they did, but in many cases they also revealed their interests, ideas and biases.
This website contains documents, drawings and photographs that reveal the lives of Charles and Ruth Lane Poole in their roles as public servants – Ruth over a period of several years, Charles over several decades. Their personalities and experiences can be found in their own letters and writings, as well as those of their colleagues in government bodies such as the Federal Capital Commission and the Department of Home and Territories.
Spelling their name
The documents show that Charles and Ruth's family name was often incorrectly hyphenated as 'Lane-Poole'. Charles insisted that it should not be hyphenated and the Secretary of the Forestry Bureau, RG Keppler, never did so in the correspondence he sent out. The hyphenated form, however, was used in much incoming correspondence and in records kept by other government agencies – perhaps because it removed confusion as to where things should be filed, under 'L' rather than 'P'.
The hyphen mysteriously appears in other places, too, such as in the letterhead of Ruth's personal correspondence, a fact that puzzled their youngest daughter, Phyllis Hamilton. When asked about the hyphen during the development of this website, she stated that the family never used it themselves.