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.

Administrative information

Processing history: Collection re-housed and re-numbered in 2005.

Access: Open.

Copyright: Contact Senior Curator, Published & Digitised Collections.

Preferred citation: Australian Comforts Fund Souvenir Collection, Australian War Memorial, Souvenirs 8.


  • Australian Comforts Fund
  • Souvenirs
  • Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League
  • League of Loyal Women in South Australia
  • Citizens' War Chest Fund


Historical background

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.

File Title/Description

'Treasure Swags' advertisement for the Australian Comforts Kiosk [3 copies].
Australian Comforts Fund Appeal receipts for Hero Cards [2 copies].
Card titled "Will you help?"
A printed notice sent to soldiers with ACF gifts.
Calendar sent to soldiers by the ACF.
A.C.F Calendar, Victorian division - 1945.
Postcard, "The Battle of Polygon Wood", profits to go to ACF
Card titled "Voluntary Worker's Badge" (PUB00705)
Card titled "Voluntary collectors authority card: 1943 Appeal" (PUB00706)
Card titled "Voluntary collectors authority card: Appeal Day" (PUB00707)
Blank stationery from the ANZAC Club, Halifax, Nova Scotia. [2 copies] (RC07226)  
(15 items)

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

File Title/Description

Large coloured leaflets of the ACF logo "Our fighting men 1918" [2 copies].
Booklet "The ACF: Its Aims, Achievements and Constitution".
Booklet "A Wilton Lady's impressions of Australians. Proceeds for Soldiers' 'Comfort' Fund".
"A Relic from the Front", a leaflet regarding the ACF Coffee Stall near Hell-fire Corner that was destroyed by a bomb.
Advertisement for the "Camp Pocket Candlestick".
ACF writing wallet containing notepaper, envelopes and pencil sent to soldiers by the ACF. [2 copies, 1 missing pencil].
Card accompanying packets of cigarettes issued by the ACF to soldiers, titled 'Gift of the Australian Comforts Fund. 1918 France'.
"Message to Workers. [copy] Commonwealth of Australia 14th November 1918" regarding the work of the ACF [2 copies].
"Copy of a Letter from the Minister of Defence, 14th November, 1918" [3 copies].
"List of subscriptions" document listing names of contributors to parcels for different units
"The Australian Comforts Fund Gift Diary 1919" (PUB01501).
"Lady Mayoress' Patriotic League" Paper Badge (RC01743).
Tag "Australian Comforts Fund: LMPL: Victorian Division: Comforts Day 5 July 1918: Kiosk Helper" (RC01744). (18 items)

Subseries 2 : Knitting instruction leaflets

File Title/Description
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

File Title/Description

Leaflets, Labels, Stickers and Books

Leaflet, "The Men in the Trenches want Weekly Newspapers...".
Leaflet, "ACF Victorian Division Welcome to Hon. Lieut.-Colonel Stanley Woodburn, C.B.E., Town Hall, Melbourne, 9th January 1920" [3 copies].
Leaflet, "Send Comforts to our Fighting Men in France, Egypt, Palestine and Mesopotamia" [2 copies].
Leaflet, "From the firing line: Appreciation from fighting men" [2 copies].
Booklet, "Review of the final months of the Australian Comforts Fund work in Victoria and summary of distribution from inception 7th August 1914 to 13th July 1920" [2 copies].
Small card, The ACF has been with you for four years at the Front and Welcomes you home to Australia with pride and gratitude."
Small card, "On behalf of the Australian Comforts Fund, Victorian Division, I beg to acknowledge and tender sincere thanks for..." [2 copies].
Small round sticker, "Xmas greetings from Australian Comforts Fund Victorian Division".
Small card, "Clock Campaign: special appeal" [2 copies].
Bright blue card, "This card entitles you to an Australian Comforts Fund Kit" [2 copies].
Cardboard badge in the shape of Australia, "Comforts Day 5th July 1918. Kiosk Helper".
Sticker, "Help! our fighting men by sending...Bulging Boxes to Birdwood Boys for Xmas" [3 copies].
Small round sticker, "Australian Comforts Fund, Victorian Division, Melbourne" [2 copies].
Small sticker, "Australian Comforts Fund, Victorian Division, Town Hall, Melbourne" [4 copies].
Small sticker, "Victorian Division, Town Hall, Melbourne" [2 copies].
Small round sticker with a belt around the Australian Flag and the message "For our fighting men", [9 copies].
Label, "For our Australian Troops on His Majesty's Service. From the Australian Comforts Fund (Victorian Division) [3 copies].
Banner in two pieces, "Australian Comforts Fund Victorian Division" [2 copies].
Small handwritten note containing the message 'May God keep watch over you', from the maker of a wool item, Ada M Harry (RC06148). (45 items)

File Title/Description


Envelope, "Australian Comforts Fund, Victorian Division" [21 copies].
Meeting notification card [2 copies].
Postcard to accompany the weekly despatch of newspapers to soldiers.
Large envelope [4 copies].
Letterhead [28 copies].
Receipt for items bought from the ACF, Victorian Division [9 copies].
Statement of Receipts and Expenditure: Entertainments Tax Assessment Act, 1916 [5 copies].
Registration Form (for branches) [7 copies].
ACF Victorian Division receipt book with receipts numbered 602 to 800.
ACF Victorian Division receipt book [2 copies, oversized items]. (80 items)

Subseries 4: ACF (Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League), Victorian Division

File Title/Description

Leaflets, Labels and Books

Leaflet, "Important to the Boys in the Trenches, ACF (Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League) Metals Branch" [12 copies].
Leaflet, "For the Fighting Men: Remember the Boys".
Leaflet, "Special suggestions for Xmas boxes" [2 copies].
Leaflet, "Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League Metals Branch" [3 copies].
Leaflet, "Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League" [3 copies].
Leaflet, "Christmas (1917) Gifts: Instructions to Branches and Battalion Comforts' Funds".
Booklet, "The Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League: Report (1914-1915) [3 copies].
Label, "From the Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League, Town Hall, Melbourne" [2 copies].
Christmas labels, "Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League [2 copies, 1 with Koala, 1 with Kangaroo].
Booklet, "Australian Comforts Fund Victorian Division: Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League: Some sidelights on its work".
Label, "For our Australian troops on His Majesty's service, from the Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League" [2 copies].
Christmas card, "Christmas Greetings 1917" [39 copies].
Food label, "Ye Olde Englishe Plum Pudding, Wishing good luck to our brave men from the Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League, Swallow & Ariell Ltd."
Postcards, "Our Boys at the Front (No. 19 to 27)". Series, all numbers except no. 25 (RC06047) [8 cards].
Leaflet, "A relic from the Front" (SC00283).
Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League: For the Fighting Men: Remember the Boys: Victorian Division, Australian Comforts Fund (RC01742). (82 items)



Ledger, "Shipment from Lady Mayoress's Patriotic League" [21 copies].
Shipping Instructions [31 copies].
Envelope, "The Hon. Treasurer etc." [3 copies].
Letterhead [4 copies]
Small letterhead [5 copies].
Paper that folds into a letter and envelope [3 copies].
Letterhead, 1918 [5 copies].
Short letterhead [39 copies]. (111 items)

Subseries 5: New South Wales Division, Citizens' War Chest Fund

File Title/Description
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].
Ribbon, "Victory".
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

File Title/Description
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

File Title/Description
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

File Title/Description
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

File Title/Description

Book, "Comforts for the Fighting Forces...An Investment in Morale", December 1940.
Book, "Comforts for the Fighting Forces...An Investment in Morale", March 1941.
Booklet, "What is the ACF?.
Booklet, "Guide to Knitting..." March, 1940.
Booklet, "Guide to Knitting..." March, 1941 [2 copies].
Booklet, "ACF Queensland Division "Knitting Book: Knitting patterns for soldiers".
Leaflet, "Their Star of Hope...You alone can keep it bright".
Leaflet, "Benefits ALL the Fighting Services".
Booklet, "Keep a smile on the faces of our fighting men in...the Navy...the Army...the Air Force.
Leaflet, "Did you know this about the ACF?".
Leaflet, "ACF gets comforts through to the front line. Give a regular donation".
Leaflet, "Social Notes".
Leaflet, "What's a cigarette, anyway?".
Sticker, a red six pointed star "Australian Comforts Fund" [5 copies].
Sticker, "Giving is fighting too!".
Sticker, "A gift from the Australian Comforts Fund".
Large sticker, blue background with red star "Australian Comforts Fund".
Medium sized sticker, blue background with red star "Australian Comforts Fund".
Small sticker, blue background with red star "Australian Comforts Fund".
Letter to Mrs Bailey thanking her for her work for the ACF.
Booklet, 'Knitting Patterns for Soldiers', produced by Australian Comforts Fund, Queensland Division
Booklet, "Guide to Knitting..." June, year unknown.
Leaflet, "The Australian Comforts Fund is here to welcome you" (PUB02421).
Booklet, "Knitting Book: Knitting patterns for soldiers", produced by Australian Comforts Fund, Queensland Division (PUB03083).
Booklet, "Guide to Knitting...' March 1941 (PUB03424).
Booklet, "Guide to Knitting...' August 1941 (PUB03423). (31 items)

Subseries 4 : Gifts for the forces

File Title/Description
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

File Title/Description
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)