Camouflage nets, sheepskin jackets and knitted socks by the thousands. Imagine a whole floor of David Jones Sydney, given over to CWA members making camouflage nets! (Over 500,000 nets in one year!)

In 1922 the CWA was formed by women who saw the need for improving conditions for families in rural communities, where services were lacking and as well, the social isolation. By working in their branches, they had developed a keen sense of responsibility and the knowledge that CWA members always had an important part to play.

After WW1, a strong feeling of patriotism had developed, and CWA was eager to fulfil any needs.  CWA branches were involved in military activity through their connection with the light horse regiments, and various training camps held in country areas. The CWA members held dances, balls and teas for recreation for the rifle teams visiting for competitions. Rest rooms were made available for the regiment’s mess rooms. Entry of Japan into WW2 was a great shock. When the National Emergency service was set up, the CWA prepared their rooms and stocked up on the needs for evacuees and casualties – bedding, food and first aid. Family life was again disrupted with men serving overseas, women taking men’s places in the work force, reduced services in rural areas, food rationing, long queues, and emotional stress.

In these years of peace, growing and providing rosemary, supporting the Kangaroo March and Anzac Day services, gift boxes for servicemen and woman on assignments overseas, and knitting of red poppies, have been activities of CWA branches.

Pat Hughes

Wollondilly Group Publicity – The Highlands