an NFSA website

Red Cross Activities During and After WWI (c.1919)


Female Red Cross volunteers prepare food, bake bread and cakes, darn socks, spin wool, and make knitted dolls. Soldiers work with leather and create wooden toys. The Red Cross volunteers are also shown working in the linen rooms and serving tea to troops.

Curator’s notes

The assistance provided by the Australian Red Cross during and after the First World War consisted of supplying care parcels for sick and wounded troops, as well as clothing, medical supplies and food. The detail of this early silent footage provides a snapshot of the daily tasks involved in providing this vital assistance and support.

It is not clear where or how this film was screened, but the material is remarkable for both the detail of activities captured, and for the quality of the image itself, which is in excellent condition. The original nitrate print held at the National Film and Sound Archive came into the collection in the mid-1980s from a bunker in the Munitions Filling Factory based at St Marys in Sydney.