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America Day Cheer - Up Society

Date: 1915 - 1918
Dimensions:
Overall: 33 x 33 mm, 0.004 kg
Medium: Tin, paint, laquer
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Badge
Object No: 00028647

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    Description
    A badge from the 'Cheer - Up Society', South Australia. The society was created in 1915 by Alexandria Seager who wanted to offer places that would "provide for the comfort, welfare and entertainment of soldiers and sailors". These Cheer - Up 'huts' were for soliders of all natioanlities and ranks and were financed by donations and funds raised by selling badges, such as this one.
    SignificanceThis badge, small as it is, is represents a significant effort by women in throughout South Australia in supporting the war effort from home. By raising funds to provide some basic home comforts and social support, these women, led by Alexandria Seager, were important in keeping the morale of enlisted men up throughout both the wars.

    HistoryThe 'Cheer-Up Society' was idea of Alexandria Seager, a woman based in Adelaide who prior to the outbreak of WW1 was an entrepreneur of sorts, having started a business providing domestic staff to country areas. When her husband and three sons enlisted, Alexandria Seager was determined that she and other women like her, would contribute to the war effort.
    She established the 'Cheer -Up Society' which, as its name suggested, was focused on the wellbeing of soldiers and sailors. At its most fundamental, the Cheer - Up's focused on providing morale and some relief to enlisted men by offering food, entertainment such as dancing and concerts, conversation and a place where they could write letters, read the paper and find 'reputable' women to talk to. Starting out initially as a large tent in 1915, the Cheer - Up Society managed to raise enough money to build a permanant structure there by the end of 1915.
    The Society also arranged for farewells to troops heading overseas and welcoming parties for those returning.
    Active throughout both WW1 and WW2, the Cheer - Up Society was disbanded in 1964 and its funds and remaining facilities passed on.


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