Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Khaki Girls

This interesting photo shows a group of women from the Commonwealth Clothing Factory who had formed a patriotic organisation known as the Khaki Girls.  Presumably they sewed their own uniforms at the Factory.  The sign indicates that the photo was taken on the occasion of the "Our Boys' Day" in March 1918.  This Day was held annually from 1916 to raise funds to provide comforts to the men in the trenches and in hospital.  
The Khaki Girls performed both in displays and in ceremonial duties - the latter being Welcome Homes at the docks and forming guards of honour.  They did displays of marching, physical culture, and they had a bugle band.

The photo belonged to Pte Julius Rudolph (Ru) Jacobsohn of Moonee Ponds, who is standing in the centre row at the right. Jacobsohn was an original Anzac, invalided home and discharged in 1916.  

Identifying the other men in the group is a challenge, but the man seated on the left of the front row with the cane is probably Thomas Trumble, the Secretary for the Defence Department.  The man to his left is Senator George Foster Pearce, the Minister for Defence.  The man in the centre is unknown, but the next two men appear in an AWM photo of the manager and office staff from the Commonwealth Government Clothing Factory.

The sergeant seated second from the right in the front row may be Sergeant E C Perkins, whose name is mentioned in an Argus report as being in charge on the occasion of a fete at the Exhibition Building in September 1918.    This same man is in a SLV photograph of the Commonwealth Clothing Factory Personnel in 1918.

The biggest challenge is to identify the women of the Commonwealth Clothing Factory.  If you had a nanna or great aunt who worked at the Factory in World War 1, have a look and see if you can identify her.

This website has some further information about the Khaki Girls

1 comment:

  1. Reference to Ron Austin's book "The Courtneys" shows a youthful Sgt E C Perkins in a montage of the Victorian Rifles, looking very much like the sergeant in this photo.

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