Guide to the Australian Comforts Fund Souvenir Collection
Collection Number: Souvenirs 8
Title: Australian Comforts Fund Souvenir Collection.
Date range of collection: 1916-1946.
Scope and content note: Contains stationery, leaflets, booklets and other items relating to the work of the Australian Comforts Fund and its State Divisions during both the First and Second World Wars.
Provenance: Items in this collection have been collected from a variety of different sources and donors.
Extent: 3 boxes (.52 metres), approximately 922 items in 18 folders.
Location: Published & Digitised Collections, Research Centre, Australian War Memorial.
Related collections: Books, Greeting Cards, Leaflets, Appeals and Fundraising Souvenirs.
Processing history: Collection re-housed and re-numbered in 2005.
Copyright: Contact Senior Curator, Published & Digitised Collections.
Preferred citation: Australian Comforts Fund Souvenir Collection, Australian War Memorial, Souvenirs 8.
- Australian Comforts Fund
- Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League
- League of Loyal Women in South Australia
- Citizens' War Chest Fund
The Australian Comforts Fund (ACF) was first formed on 24 August 1916 from a number of State based organisations that had been individually formed at the beginning of the First World War to send comforts to the troops. Its motto was "Keep the Fit Man Fit", in order to not duplicate the work of the Red Cross. The ACF raised money through various activities to buy and make items and food that could be sent to the troops. They also ran small canteens near the front lines that served food supplies and provided other items such as primus stoves, clothes, sporting equipment, games, newspapers and magazines. The ACF also ran a residential and recreational club for troops on leave in London called the AIF and War Chest Club.
With the close of the war, the ACF officially ceased to exist on 16 April 1920, only to be revived in 1939 with the outbreak of the Second World War. In addition to the Adoption Appeal, where civilians were asked to buy a stamp a day to cover the daily cost of comforts for one soldier, the ACF provided embarkation kits to troops containing items such as soap, clothes, tobacco, razors and barley sugar. The despatch of christmas hampers to troops was also popular, and by the close of operations more than 1.5 million hampers had been despatched. The ACF officially closed on June 27, 1946.
- Jackson, C.O. Badham, Proud Story: The Official History of the Australian Comforts Fund (Sydney: F.H. Johnston Publishing Co., 1949).
- Braithwaite, Robbie, The kindness of strangers (Wartime : official magazine of the Australian War Memorial: 2002, vol. 18, p.60).
Series [Insert number in text]: [Insert title of Series], [Insert date of content in series]
Description: [Insert short summary of what is in the series]
|Series number||Series title and date|
|1||General material, 1916-1946|
|2||First World War, 1916-1920|
|3||Second World War, 1939-1946|
SERIES 1: General material, 1916-1946
Description: The series contains Australian Comforts Fund souvenirs, stationery and forms.
'Treasure Swags' advertisement for the Australian Comforts Kiosk [3 copies].
SERIES 2: First World War,1916-1920
Description: The series contains leaflets, labels, tags, stationery and forms relating to the Australian Comforts Fund and its State Divisions during the First World War.
Subseries 1 : General material
Large coloured leaflets of the ACF logo "Our fighting men 1918" [2 copies].
Subseries 2 : Knitting instruction leaflets
|2/2/1||"Balaclava" Cap issued by the Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League, Melbourne, August 1916 [20 copies].
Mittens (with and without thumb) and Scarf, issued by the Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League, Melbourne, February 1917 [58 copies].
Directions for Knitting Two Socks at once for our men on active service, issued by the Lady Mayoress's League, Melbourne, September 1917 [22 copies].
Directions for Standard Socks for our men on active service, issued by the ACF, Victorian Division, September 1918 [21 copies]. (121 items)
Subseries 3 : Victorian division
Leaflets, Labels, Stickers and Books
Leaflet, "The Men in the Trenches want Weekly Newspapers...".
Envelope, "Australian Comforts Fund, Victorian Division" [21 copies].
Subseries 4: ACF (Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League), Victorian Division
Leaflets, Labels and Books
Leaflet, "Important to the Boys in the Trenches, ACF (Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League) Metals Branch" [12 copies].
Ledger, "Shipment from Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League" [21 copies].
Subseries 5: New South Wales Division, Citizens' War Chest Fund
|2/5/1||Booklet, "Some extracts from the Sydney press about the work of the Australian Comforts Fund".
Leaflet, "Honour the War Chests" with a poem "Star of ANZAC" on reverse.
Badge, "War Chest Day, 1917 Authorised Collector" [3 copies].
Round sticker, "For our fighting men - War Chest, June 30th".
Card, "War Chest Cake Shop".
Notice, "Conditions relating to the sale of pins in the art union in aid of War Chest Day, 28th September, 1917" [2 copies].
Leaflet "Honour the War Chests" with the poem "Star of ANZAC" inside [on card with above item].
Ribbon, "War Chest Day, September 28th, 1917. "Carry On"! Help our boys".
Card, "Please patronise the War Chest Flower Shop".
Card, "Help the wounded in the firing line".
Receipt, "War Chest Cake Shop".
Stamp, War Chest 1917 [8 different stamps].
Sticker, "For our fighting men - War Chest, June 30th" [same sticker as above].
Seating card for Citizens' "War Chest" fund of NSW function at the Sydney Town Hall, April 20, c 1920. Function to welcome General Sir William Birdwood and Leiutenant colonel T.S.Woodburn. Stamped with the words "Organ Seats".
Notebook "Soldiers! Write home!". (35 items)
Subseries 6 : South Australian Division, League of Loyal Women in South Australia
|2/6/1||Notebook, "Australian Comforts Fund, South Australian Division, League of Loyal Women in South Australia", on reverse is typed "Presented to the Australian War Memorial by Maj. Gen. H.W. Grimwade, CB, CMG, VD, 23/5/1933". (1 item)|
SERIES 3: Second World War, 1939-1946
Description: The series contains items that were sent to forces by the ACF and leaflets, stationery and forms relating to the Australian Comforts Fund during the Second World War.
Subseries 1 : Stationery and forms
|3/1/1||Large envelope with ACF red star [10 copies].
Medium envelope with ACF red star [6 copies].
Large long envelope with ACF red star [8 copies].
Small long envelope with ACF red star [8 copies].
Small envelope with ACF red star [10 copies].
Small envelope with ACF red star on back [bundle of 24].
Envelope with Salvation Army, ACF and YMCA logos in top left corner [10 copies].
Envelope with Salvation Army, ACF and YMCA logos in bottom left corner [1 bundle of 11 and 28 loose copies].
Large letterhead [11 copies].
Medium letterhead [23 copies].
Small letterhead [27 copies].
Paper for messages to ACF Federal Headquarters from ACF branches [28 copies].
Envelope "On active service".
Requisition Order Book [3 copies].
Receipt book for items received from the ACF [3 copies]. (211 items)
Subseries 2 : Adoption Fund Appeal
|3/2/1||Booklet, "Introducing the ACF NSW Division Adoption Appeal" [2 copies].
Leaflet, "Adopt a member of the fighting services for one year!".
Certificate of Adoption [2 copies].
Calendar for stamps from the Adoption Appeal.
Sheet of Adoption Appeal stamps.
"Give them ACF Comforts". (8 items)
Subseries 3 : Advertising and publications
Book, "Comforts for the Fighting Forces...An Investment in Morale", December 1940.
Subseries 4 : Gifts for the forces
|3/4/1||Writing block with the message, "This little writing block comes to you...".
Writing pad, red print on white paper, "A gift from the Australian Comforts Fund".
Writing pad with the message, "You know how essential the Australian Comforts Fund is...".
Writing pad with the message, "We, of the Australian Comforts Fund...".
Writing pad with the message, "In wishing you all the best for Christmas...".
Writing pad with grey cover, "ACF" [3 copies].
Packet of envelopes held together by the sticker, "A gift from the Australian Comforts Fund" [2 copies].
Wide writing paper [28 sheets].
Writing paper [20 sheets].
Small writing paper [49 sheets].
Label, "This Christmas Hamper is the gift of Mr & Mrs John Robertson".
Label, "This Christmas Hamper is the gift of Hillston District Patriotic War Fund" [2 copies].
Message card, "Hello Aussie!" [3 copies].
Card, "Australian Forces Club conducted by the Australian Comforts Fund...Comfortable rooms. Reading, writing and bedrooms." [3 copies].
Booklet, "Guide to Brisbane and Suburbs, issued with the good wishes of the ACF".
Paper that folds into a letter and envelope [39 copies].
Label, Through the Australian comforts Fund "This Christmas Hamper is the gift of J.S. Wyatt....Inglewood, W.A".
Label, ACF Goulburn and District Patriotic and War Fund, "This christmas Hamper is the gift of Misses A & M Grunsell".
ACF Victorian Division christmas gift postcard, "Our thoughts are with you", mailing address to "Mr Samuel G Casor...NY, USA"
Chronological Table of some of the salient dates in the history of Palestine (2 copies)[PUB01709][PUB01947]. (161 items)
Subseries 5 : Battle Stations Appeal, 1945
|3/5/1||Magazine, 'What the Comforts fund is doing for the Fighting Forces", with 'Supports "Battle Stations Appeal" on back cover, produced by Australian Comforts fund (Queensland Division).
Leaflet, "They shall have Comforts on the Road to Victory", issued by the Appeals Committee, Queensland Patriotic and Australian Comforts Fund (Queensland Division).
Leaflet, "Battle stations Appeal for 300,000 pounds", issued by The Queensland Patriotic and Australian Comforts Fund (Queensland Division). (3 items)