Single woollen bed sock knitted by Mrs. Ruby Tyler in Queensland. Mrs. Tyler, a former resident of Mt. Waverley in Victoria, usually knits bedsocks for patients in her local hospital in Logan, Queensland. A week after Black Saturday 2009, she sent six pairs of similar socks to the Burns Unit of The Alfred hospital in Melbourne. She hoped they would be given to bushfire victims with burned feet. The hospital distributed the socks to patients and one of them wrote a letter of thanks to Mrs.Tyler.

The letter read:
'Dear Ruby,
My name is Peter Anderson. I am writing to thank you for your generous donation of bed socks. I am now a proud owner of a red pair. I have recently been discharged from the Alfred Hospital after I was airlifted from my brother's property after the fires. I stepped into an ember pit and required skin grafts to my legs and hands. I am now recovering at home. Your work and thoughts help with the recovery.
Thank you again,
Kind regards, Peter. '

Mrs.Tyler knitted this sock and then ran out of wool, but she thought there might be a one-legged person who needed a single sock. She has donated this sock to the Victorian Bushfires Collection as a sample of the gifts she sent to The Alfred hospital.

Physical Description

Single woollen bedsock hand knitted in green wool with a yellow cuff.


Hand-knitted bedsocks convey a message of home, of comfort and of caring. All of these messages were in the socks that Ruby Tyler sent to the Burns Unit of The Alfred hospital with the wish for them to be given to victims of the Black Saturday bushfires. Domestic items like these are a traditional response to times of trouble and Ruby was calling on a long heritage of women who have knitted socks in response to war and natural disaster. They are a point of connection not only between the survivors of Black Saturday and the wider community, but also between Black Saturday and other times of difficulty, when extraordinary bonds are forged between unlikely people.

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