Australian War Memorial Photo - H02438
Melbourne, Victoria. War work. From fleece to sock. Miss Coll is shown knitting socks direct from the fleece of a sheep. The Australian Comforts fund then packed the socks into bales. As seen on the left of the photograph, and shipped them overseas to Australian troops
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.
The state bodies in World War I were: New South Wales: the 'Citizens' 'War Chest' Fund; Queensland Patriotic Fund; South Australia: League of Loyal Women; Tasmania: 'On Active Service Fund'; Australian Comforts Fund, Victorian Division; Victoria League of Western Australia. During World War II the state bodies were called : The Lord Mayor's Patriotic and War Fund of New South Wales; the Australian Comforts Fund, Victorian Division; the Australian Comforts Fund, Queensland Division; the Australian Comforts Fund, Tasmanian Division; the Fighting Forces Comforts Fund SA Inc; the Victoria League Camp Comforts Fund ( W A )
Australian Comforts Fund commissioners conducted its activities in the field, holding honorary rank as officers of the Army or Air Force.
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW ), Wednesday 18 August 1915, page 5
Australian War Memorial Photo - J00360
Women sewing at the Melbourne Town Hall for the Australian Comforts Fund. The women are sewing shirts and fur vests. Three soldiers (back left) are modelling the vests. A St John Ambulance Notice Board is at the back of the room.
Australian War Memorial Photo - P00562.115
Sydney, NSW. c. 1917. Group portrait of workers of the Wireless Comforts Fund Committee on the verandah of the building where they had rooms in the city. Some of the women are holding parcels.
Australian War Memorial Photo - H16133
Volunteers at the Red Cross Headquarters sorting items and packing bags to be sent overseas for the comfort of Australian service personnel
Australian War Memorial Photo - H18790
Melbourne, Victoria. A room in Government House given over to the Red Cross Association for the selection and packing of items intended for the comfort of the armed forces.
Australian War Memorial Photo - H00500A England, Greater London, London. The office of the Australian Comforts Fund shipping and transport department. Identified from left to right: Commissioner T Henley, Miss Henley at the typewriter and Sergeant E Clarke.
Australian War Memorial Photo - H00500B
England, Greater London, London. A section of the magazine and newspaper department of the Australian Comforts Fund. Identified from left to right: Assistant Commissioner B H Waterhouse; Miss Wylde; Mrs Jardine; J J Kennett (packer) and Sergeant H J McFarlane (packer).
Australian War Memorial Photo - H15028
London, England. 28 February 1918. A record consignment of 8473 cases of Australian Comforts Fund and Australian Red Cross comforts being unloaded from the hold of the supply ship SS Boorara
Australian War Memorial Photo - H02389
LONDON, ENGLAND. 1918-02-28. PART OF AN AUSTRALIAN COMFORTS FUND CONSIGNMENT OF 8473 CASES BEING UNLOADED FROM SS BOORARA. THE MEN IN UNIFORM ARE COMMISSIONER T. HENLEY, A/COMMISSIONER I.W. KERR, PRIVATE C. JAGER AND SERGEANT E. CLARKE.
Australian War Memorial Photo - H15029
London, England. 28 February 1918. A section of the record of 8473 cases of Australian Comforts Fund and Australian Red Cross comforts in storage after being carried to London by the supply ship SS Boorara
Australian War Memorial Photo - B00207 North Africa: Egypt, Cairo. Group portrait of the Australian Comforts Fund Commissioner, and his staff in the headquarters store. Two women flank the Commissioner (front).
Australian War Memorial Photo - B00955
North Africa: Egypt, Suez Canal, Kantara. An interior view of the Australian Comforts Fund Depot with wooden boxes stacked to the rafters.
State Library of Victoria - Photo Image No: pi005370
Distribution to the Camel Corps, Abbassieh by the Australian Comforts Fund in the Middle East, World War I
Australian War Memorial Photo - E04334
Belgium: Wallonie, Hainaut, Chatelet. An outdoors group portrait of the officer in charge, and staff of the Australian Comforts Fund, attached to the 1st Australian Division, all unidentified, standing on the steps in front of the Comforts store. Note 'Notice - Gone for Dinner - back at 6.30' is chalked on the left side of the door.
Australian War Memorial Photo - E00402
France: Picardie, Somme, Ribemont. Three members of the 13th Battalion at Ribemont, unpacking boxes of comforts from Burwood in New South Wales for distribution to the battalion
Australian War Memorial Photo - E03221
France: Picardie, Somme, Cappy. A group of unidentified soldiers outside a building in Cappy, where the Australian Comforts Fund Store of the 2nd Division was situated. The invaluable Australian Comforts Fund Depots were always established close to the advancing troops. Note the sign beside the doorway which bears the symbol of the rising sun and which reads, '2 Comforts Fund'.