Australia Day handkerchief : Private E Davison, 34 Battalion, AIF

Place Oceania: Australia, New South Wales
Accession Number REL36113
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Cotton
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia
Date made 1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

White cotton handkerchief printed in the top left corner with the Royal Navy's white ensign, and in the centre, in red, 'AUSTRALIA DAY JULY 30, 1915'.

History / Summary

This handkerchief was purchased by Edward Davison to support Red Cross fund raising for the war effort on the first nominated Australia Day, 30 July 1915. A miner working at Pelau Main near Newcastle, NSW, he had been unable to enlist because at five foot two and three quarter inches, he did not meet the minimum height requirement for the AIF.

When the minimum height was lowered at the beginning of 1916 Davison enlisted on 11 January. After basic training he was assigned as a private to B Company, 34 Battalion, with the service number 404. The unit sailed from Sydney for service on the Western Front aboard HMAT A20 Hororata in May 1916. Davison was wounded in the arm during the Battle of Messines in June 1917 and spent six weeks recovering in hospital. He returned to Australia in May 1919.