Another highlight from NRS 15051 Schools Photographic collection are photos documenting school children’s participation in the war effort during World War I (WWI).
School children were among the many groups who put their hand to providing comforts for troops at the front.
Organisations such as the Red Cross and the Soldiers Sock Fund encouraged people from all walks of life to knit socks to send to soldiers.
Without the means to wash or dry clothing, new clean socks were greatly needed by soldiers in an effort to ward against trench foot which was rife in the cold, wet mud of the trenches.
For more WWI related content online, see the State Records NSW Centenary of Anzac website.
Corowa Public School, 1917, measuring the number of socks knitted using ‘the sock barometer’. A grand total 140 pairs were completed:
A newspaper article sourced from Trove emphasises the need for socks by troops at the front and encourages the knitters of NSW to contribute:
Coonamble Public School, 1918, Red Cross Workers at the Superior Public School:Bondi Public School, 1916, spinning:
Camperdown Public School, 1916, knitting socks:
One of our Archives Outside readers has kindly provided us with images of “The Grey Sock”, a booklet produced by the Soldiers’ Sock Fund in 1914. The booklet provides instructions for knitting socks for soldiers.
References and further reading:
“Australian Comforts Fund World War I”, Museum Victoria, available from //museumvictoria.com.au/collections/themes/1848/australian-comforts-fund-world-war-i
“Booklet – The grey sock 1914”, Powerhouse Museum, available from //www.powerhousemuseum.com/mob/collection/database/?irn=10108&search=patriotism&images=&wloc=&c=1&s=0
“Homefront – World War I and Australia”, State Library NSW, available from //guides.sl.nsw.gov.au/content.php?pid=489033&sid=4179071
“Knitting for the Troops” Australian War Memorial, available from //www.awm.gov.au/blog/2013/10/25/knitting-troops/