Enlist in the Sportsmen's Thousand

Place Oceania: Australia
Accession Number ARTV00026
Collection type Art
Measurement sheet: 97 x 74.2 cm; Framed: 1270 mm x 870 mm
Object type Poster
Physical description chromolithograph on paper
Maker Unknown
Sportsmen's Committee, State Parliamentary Recruiting Committee
Date made 1917
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Representative of two common recruiting devices used in Australia, a well-known local soldier and a target number of men required for a specially named group. Both themes were combined, too, as in the case of Ryan's Thousand (after T.J. Ryan, the Queensland premier) or Carmichael's Thousand (after Captain A.C. Carmichael). This poster, published by the State Parliamentary Recruiting Committee, depicts Lieutenant Albert Jacka, VC, as a role model for a huge campaign to enlist sportsmen into the Australian Imperial Force in 1917. Jacka achieved instant fame back home when he became the first Australian to win the Victoria Cross during the First World War. It was said that one of the reasons he was such a good soldier, and had such a fighting attitude, was that he had been a boxer before the war. The campaign to enlist sportsmen was fuelled by a strong belief that by playing sport young men developed specific skills and qualities that could be used on the battlefield.