Rose Days were held by a range of organisations in Australia and beyond to raise funds during World War I, and later. They were likely inspired by the Alexandra Rose Day in Great Britain, a fund-raising event held each June since 1912, initiated to mark the 50th anniversary of the arrival of Queen Alexandra from Denmark to marry the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII). On 21 June 1916, 15,000 girls dressed in white, including 'Australian and New Zealand ladies', sold roses on 'Alexandra Day' in the West End of London. In 1917 the 'Queen Alexandra Rose Day' was held in London on 21 June, which was notable for the presence of the Queen herself.
In Australia on 8 April 1915, a Belgium Rose Day was held in Melbourne, although was unfortunately associated with fraudulent collection.
A Rose Day was held in Sydney on Friday 17 or Saturday 18 March 1916, 'in aid of the War Chest and No. 2 A.S.C. funds'. Flowers, produce and fruit could be deposited at several sites in the city.
On Friday 5 May 1916 The Wattle Day League in South Australia sold Rose and Apple Day badges to equip motor ambulances and lorries of the 11th Field Ambulance. Apples (including cooked apple pastries) and roses were donated and sold to raise funds. The apple donation was organised by the Government, which had the additional motive of assisting orchardists and raising demand for apples. One of these badges is in Museums Victoria's collection (SH 950310). It was made by A.W. Patrick, 440 Rae Street, North Fitzroy, Melbourne.
On 27 May 1916 in Manilla, regional New South Wales, Mrs Athel Baldwin arranged a 'Rose and Jumble Stall' to raise funds for the Red Cross, which the local paper described as a 'Red Cross Rose Day'. Afternoon tea was put on by the Red Cross.
On 20 November 1918 a Rose Day was held in Perth by the Ugly Men's Association, in part to raise funds for the War Patriotic Association.
Rose Days continued to be held after World War I, such as 14 October 1921 (Sydney) and 12 April 1922 ( Melbourne). A report on the 1921 event indicated that Rose Days were now conducted by the United Charities Fund, supporting 67 charities. Museums Victoria holds an example of a Kindergarten Rose Day badge circa 1940 (NU 48087). The Australian War Memorial holds a 1946 United Charities Fund Rose Day card to identify 'Voluntary Helper' for the United Charities Fund 'Rose Day'.
1917 'ROSE DAY.', The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), 22 June, p. 6. , viewed 31 Dec 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1077944
1916 'ALEXANDRA DAY.', The Northern Miner (Charters Towers, Qld. : 1874 - 1954), 23 June, p. 3. , viewed 31 Dec 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article80441701
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_Rose_Day, accessed 31/12/2019.
1916 'BELGIAN ROSE DAY SEQUEL', The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), 29 June, p. 14. , viewed 31 Dec 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article242333874
1916 'ROSE DAY.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 17 March, p. 12. , viewed 31 Dec 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15655259
1916 'ROSES AND SHAMROCKS.', The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1930), 18 March, p. 9. , viewed 31 Dec 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article238785225
1916 'APPLE AND ROSE DAY.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 20 April, p. 6. , viewed 31 Dec 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59630074.
1916 'APPLE AND ROSE DAY.', Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), 6 May, p. 3. , viewed 31 Dec 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article79770494
1916 'Red Cross Rose Day.', Manilla Express (NSW : 1899 - 1954), 20 May, p. 4. , viewed 31 Dec 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article193573031
1918 'WAR PATRIOTIC FUND', The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950), 18 November, p. 6. (THIRD EDITION), viewed 31 Dec 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article81777271
Australian War Memorial collection SERIES 3: Fundraising days and events, 1915-1946, item 3/1/14, United Charities Fund Rose Day, 1946, card to identify 'Voluntary Helper'.
1921 '"SWEET NELL"', The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), 11 September, p. 10. , viewed 31 Dec 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article224137571