48-page booklet titled 'Cheero Australians', published by the National Committee (Army and Navy Department) of the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) in 1917. It features images of Australia, a main story entitled 'Cheero', a hymn, poem and 'word for the day'. The booklet was intended for use in the 'Y.M.C.A. Huts in the Camp and at the Front' during World War I. It both encourages men to train and prepare for enlistment, and reassures those away fighting that their nation is supporting them. It also provides a strongly nostalgic view of Australia, intended to comfort distant soldiers.

The booklet identifies a cause of low volunteering for service: '...just as soon as the powers that be can see the sense of letting every fit man...of any age - into this business, there'll be a crowd, aye, and a big one too, that have been side-tracked far too long, who'll be in this war business for keeps, and to do any old thing to keep and hold the Anzacs' fighting line.'

Physical Description

48-page booklet with paper cover, printed in green with red highlights on off-white stock. Cover illustration features eucalypt leaves and flowers, overlaid by title and YMCA logo of inverted red triangle. The booklet contains low-quality black and white images of Australia titled 'Views from Home' (mostly leisure and tourism) such as 'A Fern Glade', 'In the Forest', 'Public School Football' and 'Young Australia' (two boys playing on a beach). The other main content is a multi-page account titled 'Cheero! A Story by Sergeant Jack'. Interspersed with photographs are 'Our Soldiers' Christmas Hymn', 'The "Word" for the Day' and a poem 'We Want You Back'. The booklet is bound by two tarnished staples.

More Information