Hughes, Billy

Billy Hughes migrated to New South Wales from Britain in 1884, when he was 22. He worked as a labourer and a cook before opening a small mixed shop. He became a union organiser and entered politics in 1894. He studies law and was admitted to the bar in 1903. A supporter of Federation, he was elected to federal Parliament in 1901. He was Attorney General in Andrew Fisher’s Labor government. When Fisher resigned in October 1915, Hughes took over at Prime Minister.

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Avery, Louis Willyama

Louis Willyama Avery was born on July 15, 1891, and moved to Adelaide from Broken Hill for his education. He attended St Peter’s College and later the SA School of Mines, where he studied Engineering. He was working in Broken Hill when war was declared, and he decided to enlist for service in August 1914. He was a member of the 3rd Field Engineers, A.I.F, 1st Australian Division, 3rd Brigade, and landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, 1915. Later in the war he fought in Europe, being awarded a Military Medal in 1917. Following his time in the Dardanelles, Avery was hospitalised suffering from typhoid fever, and letters from his father to military administration show how difficult it was for families in Australia to find out information about the health of soldiers overseas.

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Churchill-Smith, James

James Churchill-Smith enlisted in May 1915, in Adelaide. He was born in October 1894, and was educated at Norwood Public School before going to the School of Mines. He was initially assigned to the 10th Infantry Battalion before joining the 50th, when the AIF was doubled in February 1916.

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Terrell, Frederick Leopold

After working as an iron moulder, 25 year old Frederick Leopold (Leo) Terrell was frustrated by the lack of work in South Australia and, enlisted for service for the Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train at Keswick on 27 March, 1915. After several months of training, Terrell embarked from Australia on 3 June 1915 and served with the AIF at Gallipoli, landing at Suvla Bay. He later served with the 12th Field Artillery Battery on the Western front in Europe.

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Cooper, Ethel

Caroline Ethel Cooper (1871-1961) was something of an eccentric – for starters, she had a pet crocodile called Cheops which she kept in her apartment, and lived a very independent lifestyle. A proficient musician, she formed her own Women’s Orchestra in Adelaide before the outbreak of the war. A regular visitor to Germany, she was living in Leipzig when the war broke out. She remained in Germany for the duration of the war, writing a letter each week to her sister Emmie in Adelaide. Although these letters could not be posted during the war, the first 52 were smuggled to Switzerland and posted from Interlaken and the remainder were hidden and sent from England in 1918. Although her premises were often raided by police and she was forbidden from leaving several times during the war, she was not detained and had a pass that stated her presence was ‘agreeable to the military authorities’. She returned to Adelaide for a few years after the war, but returned to Europe where she participated in relief work. She settled in Adelaide in 1936, with her then-widowed sister.

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Governor Galway

Sir Henry Lionel Galway (1859-1949) was the Governor of South Australia from 1914 until 1920. Described as a controversial figure, Governor Galway advocated for conscription, supported gambling and wanted to end the White Australia policy in order to bring in much needed labour from Asia into the Northern Territory. Australia’s strides towards equality failed to align with Galway’s conservative outlook, seeing him oppose the South Australia’s education system and women’s enfranchisement. As a sign of protest against his conservative views, the Labor parliamentarians decided to boycott Galway’s farewell. Although Governor Galway was socially conservative, his wife, Lady Marie Carola Franciska Roselyn Galway, was tireless in her fundraising and social efforts throughout the First World War. Nonetheless, Sir Henry Galway is still a revered Governor, and praised for his involvement during wartime.

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Seager, Alexandrine

In business before the war, Mrs Alexandrine Seager had the administrative and organisational skill required for running the Cheer Up Society, which she founded in, after visiting Morphettville camp to see her son in the Australian Imperial Force in November 1914. With the support of the editor of Adelaide newspaper, The Register, she appealed to South Australian women to join the Society, which aimed to provide 'general comfort, welfare, and entertainment' for soldiers. Initially, they visited camps, arranged entertainments, such as concerts and sent comforts to the front. As the wounded began returning from Gallipoli, they provided comfort and care. From 1915 they were based in a large tent behind the Adelaide Railway Station, which was replaced by the Cheer-Up Hut in nearby Elder Park (opened on 14 November, 1915). The Society had eighty country branches, and a key aspect of their fundraising was the annual Violet Day Appeal (first held on 2 July 1915). She was also instrumental in the foundation of the South Australian Returned Soldiers’ Association. For further information, visit History SA's online resource, Adelaidia

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Cheer-Up Society

The South Australian Cheer-Up Society was founded by Alexandrina Seager. Its object was to support the soldiers as well as to bring them into contact with the 'highest type of womanhood'. They visited the soldiers at camp before they embarked for the trenches and provided them with supper, concerts and conversation.

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Red Cross

Australian branches of the Red Cross formed in 1914 within days of the outbreak of the war. They were all branches of the British Red Cross Society, reflecting the close bonds with the ‘Mother Country’. Lady Helen Munro Ferguson, the wife of Australia's Governor General, established the Red Cross in Melbourne, and encouraged state governors' wives to do the same. In South Australia, Lady Marie Carola Galway convened the inaugural meeting at Adelaide Town Hall on 14 August, 1914. Thousands of South Australians, predominantly women, joined the ranks of the Red Cross, raising funds to support the soldiers and putting traditional skills to use, knitting, sewing and baking for the war effort. Branches sprang up all around the state, based on suburbs, towns, religious congregations and workplaces. Later in the war the Red Cross opened an Information Bureau to help families search for missing soldiers.

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