Eighty Years Ago: Australia’s Women’s National Emergency Legion is Formed

Horsewoman in the Australian Women’s Emergency Legion. September 1939. X

The Women’s National Emergency Legion, an auxiliary organisation in Australia during the Second World War, was formed in September of 1938.

Based in Brisbane, Queensland, only women of British origin were allowed to join.

Article from The Morning Bulletin. Rockhampton. 18 November 1938.

Women considered eligible were provided with training in areas considered necessary to the war effort, such as first aid and truck driving.

Miss Tony Mitchell at Somerville House in Brisbane, 1942. Mitchell drove cars and trucks for the US Army. X

When war broke out in the Pacific at the end of 1941 women were attached to US military units to work as drivers and clerks. They also worked for British and Dutch units based in Australia.

The organisation ceased operations a couple of years after the end of the war.

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On this day: Australia at the outbreak of war.

Parade of Queensland Expeditionary Force through the streets of Brisbane, 14 September 1914. Australia. First World War.

Seven weeks after the outbreak of the First World War, and six weeks after Britain – and therefore Australia – declared war on Germany, a military parade took place in the streets of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It was the 14th of September, 1914.

Featured prominently in this postcard image are the Light Horsemen, who played a significant role in Australia’s participation in the war.

Vintage Queensland: Labour Day

Labour Day in Australia falls on different dates in different regions. In 2017 the 2nd of October is Labour Day for the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and South Australia.

These images show celebrations of the day in the state of Queensland.

The Fish Board: Eat More Fish – 1940.

StateLibQld 2 107924 Red Emperor float in the Labour Day procession, Brisbane, 1940. The Fish board - Eat More Fish. Vintage.

State Butcheries: the People’s Business – 1920.

Butchers posing in front of their Labour Day float, Brisbane, 1920 Thomas William Anderson, formerly of Toowoomba, is pictured at the far right.

Brisbane in 1928

StateLibQld_1_104856_Men_posing_next_to_a_Labour_Day_float,_Brisbane,_1938 Men posing next to a Labour Day float, Brisbane, 1938 Queensland Australia Vintage

Preparing a float in Brisbane in 1940.

On this day…

The chocolate wheel at the Ambulance stall at the Royal Queensland Show, Australia on the 29th of April, 1938. The show, often referred to as the Ekka, is held annually in Brisbane. The showground was used as a hospital four years later, during World War Two.

chocolate-wheel-at-the-ambulance-stall-exhibition-ground-brisbane-1938-ambulance-service-chocolate-wheel-draws-a-large-crowd-at-the-ekka-on-29-april-1938

On this day: a land sale in Brisbane

Given Terrace in Paddington West, Brisbane, Australia was sold by auction on the 22nd of November, 1884.

estate-map-of-paddinton-west-given-terrace-brisbane-queensland-1884-estate-map-showing-allotments-to-be-sold-on-the-22nd-november-1884-by-simon-fraser-son-auctioneer-the-land-was-surveyed-by

The first land sale in the area took place in 1859, while a horse bus was introduced into this hilly part of the city in 1879. Today the suburb it is considered a desirable place to live in the capital city of the state of Queensland.

Below is the area less than twenty years after the land sale advertised above, circa 1902:

houses-of-paddington-brisbane-ca-1902-view-of-the-houses-of-paddington-from-red-hill-looking-towards-the-intersection-of-given-and-latrobe-terraces

On this day: the Great Fire of Brisbane

Great fire in Queen Street, Brisbane 1864.208120_10150119276926342_4420036_n

On the 1st of December, 1864, a fire swept through Brisbane, in the Australian colony of Queensland.

Dozens of homes were lost, alongside banks, hotels and small businesses. The damage was made worse because there was no water supply, and any firefighting services were poorly organised

As much of Brisbane was built from timber, the fire was able to travel fast and destroy many buildings.

During rebuilding, brick and stone became much more popular materials to use.