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).