Summary

Mint: Schlanck
Other Details: Medal issued by the South Australian Commercial Travellers and Warehousemens' Association (S.A.C.T.& W.A.) on the occasion of a fundraising carnival for the war effort. The medal commemorates the declaration of war on 4 August 1914. It was estimated that 29,000 people gathered at the Adelaide Oval for the South Australian Commercial carnival, held on 17 October 1914. The carnival was intended to support the Mayor's Patriotic Fund, and medals such as this were sold to raise money. A procession of commercial travellers began at 2.15 from the Queen's statue and travelled along King William street to the Oval. The procession included motor cars, some decorated to resemble battleships, a maxim-gun battery and an armoured car, at which 'toy bombs' were thrown. Others bore schoolgirls dressed to resemble Britannia, Australia, Canada, India and South Africa. People dressed as bears with rifles followed a 'Russian general'. A cage contained 'the Kaiser', guarded by British sailors and soldiers. A sign attached to the cage read 'Got 'im'. Once on the Oval the captured monarch was 'hanged' in front of the crowds and massed parade. Lady Galway, the Mayoress of Adelaide, the Mayoress of St Peters (wife of J.H. Thomson, President of the Commercial Travellers' Association) and Mrs W.R. Humble handed out prizes for the best entries in the parade. HMAS Australia won; a dilapidated railway engine on wobbly wooden wheels propelled by a partially concealed bicycle rider (a parody on the Port Augusta Commonwealth Railway) came second. The Kaiser capture and hanging came third. Military, police and community bands played, a burlesque football match was held, a billygoat 'Caulfield Cup' was run and a 'German regiment' fled in the face of a burlesque travellers' bard. It was estimated that 2,000 pounds were raised.

Obverse Description

Head of George V bare, facing left; around, WAR DECLARED AUG. 4. 1914 . GOD SAVE THE KING

Reverse Description

At centre a simple line drawing of a building, at sides, CARNIVAL OCT.17.14; around above, S.A.C.T. & W. ASSN. around below, FOR KING & EMPIRE

Edge Description

Plain

Significance

It was estimated that 29,000 people gathered at the Adelaide Oval for the South Australian Commercial Travellers and Warehousemens' Association fund-raising carnival on 17 October 1914. The carnival was intended to support the Mayor's Patriotic Fund, and medals such as this were sold to raise money. A procession of commercial travellers began at 2.15 from the Queen's statue and travelled along King William street to the Oval. The procession included motor cars, some decorated to resemble battleships, a maxim-gun battery and an armoured car, at which 'toy bombs' were thrown. Others bore schoolgirls dressed to resemble Britannia, Australia, Canada, India and South Africa. People dressed as bears with rifles followed a 'Russian general'. A cage contained 'the Kaiser', guarded by British sailors and soldiers. A sign attached to the cage read 'Got 'im'. Once on the Oval the captured monarch was 'hanged' in front of the crowds and massed parade. Lady Galway, the Mayoress of Adelaide, the Mayoress of St Peters (wife of J.H. Thomson, President of the Commercial Travellers' Association) and Mrs W.R. Humble handed out prizes for the best entries in the parade. HMAS Australia won; a dilapidated railway engine on wobbly wooden wheels propelled by a partially concealed bicycle rider (a parody on the Port Augusta Commonwealth Railway) came second. The Kaiser capture and hanging came third. Military, police and community bands played, a burlesque football match was held, a billygoat 'Caulfield Cup' was run and a 'German regiment' fled in the face of a burlesque travellers' bard. It was estimated that 2,000 pounds were raised.

See South Australian Commercial Travellers' and Warehousemen's Association, 1914. Patriotic Fancy Dress Carnival: Official Program. State Library of South Australia 791.3.

-The Register, Adelaide, October 19, 1914, p.5. -D. Tout-Smith 11/2/2004.

More Information