Summary

Medal issued by the South Australian division of the Australian Comforts Fund. Comforts Funds sent care parcels to Australians serving overseas, including letters, newspapers and periodicals. Early in World War I local women's groups in Australia began working to provide provide tobacco, cakes, puddings, condensed milk, sugar, biscuits' newspapers and other 'luxury' items to supplement the Australian soldier's army rations. These fundraising bodies were amalgamated in 1916 to form a national body which undertook to provide 'comforts' to all Australians abroad, the Australian Comforts Fund. The ACF grew into an enormous fundraising, collecting, sorting and distribution organisation that rivalled the Red Cross. Although men took some executive positions on national and state committees, the bulk of the administrative and manual work fell on a huge 'army' of unpaid women. Some of the work took place on the battlefield, where 12 million mugs of coffee and tea were provided during World War I. The ACF was dissolved at the end of the War, but had proved such a success as a link between home and the battlefield that it was revived in 1940.

Physical Description

Obverse has a bust of a soldier. Reverse has an inscription framed by a wreath.

Obverse Description

Bust of Australian soldier right wearing hat and holding rifle

Reverse Description

Within wreath, NEW GUINEA / EGYPT / GALLIPOLI / FRANCE / PALESTINE / SALONIKA / MESOPOTAMIA; in small letters below wreath, STOKES & SONS

Edge Description

AUSTRALIAN COMFORT FUND SA DIVISION

Significance

Early in World War I local women’s groups in Australia began working to provide provide tobacco, cakes, puddings, condensed milk, sugar, biscuits' newspapers and other ‘luxury’ items to supplement the Australian soldier’s army rations. These fund-raising bodies were amalgamated in 1916 to form a national body which undertook to provide ‘comforts’ to all Australians abroad, the Australian Comforts Fund. The ACF grew into an enormous fundraising, collecting, sorting and distribution organisation that rivalled the Red Cross. Although men took some executive positions on national and state committees, the bulk of the administrative and manual work fell on a huge ‘army’ of unpaid women. Some of the work took place on the battlefield, where 12 million such mugs of coffee and tea during World War I. The ACF was dissolved at the end of the War, but had proved such a success as a link between home and the battlefield that it was revived in 1940.

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