Backward Glance: World War 1 – Home front on Sunshine Coast
  • Wednesday 06 May 2015
Armistice Day in Maleny, 1919

When the First World War began and men started to enlist, families who were left behind had the task of working out how they were going to survive the war without them.

It was a general belief that the war would be over quickly but as it dragged on, locals had to face the sad truth that their loved ones would be away for an extended period of time.

Those left behind put their efforts into organising special farewell dinners and functions for those leaving for the war. Later, in 1916 as the war dragged on in France, efforts were put into encouraging more people to volunteer through recruitment drives.

Many women and their children struggled to keep farms going and older men and young boys in the community all pitched in to help these families out.

Those left behind also busied themselves helping out with patriotic activities.

One example was the Yandina Soldiers’ Comforts Fund which worked on care packs to help make the soldiers more comfortable at the front. Women met in homes and halls to sew and knit socks and other garments as well as create hampers for the troops overseas. Many women and girls also wrote letters to their loved ones and others.

Patriotic Funds were set up to help support the dependents of those who had volunteered and fundraising auctions, concerts and markets were held.

Red Cross groups were established or strengthened at this time and also assisted with fundraising efforts and assembling of sand bags for the front.

Learn more about the Coast’s unique history by reading our Backward Glance series. There’s a new story every Wednesday.