Homefront support: Hurstville’s carnivals and sport demonstrations

Soon after the war broke out in 1914, music and theatre events, carnivals and sport demonstrations were regularly held in the local area to raise funds to support the nation during the war.

The carnival programs, many of them held at Hurstville Oval, would include games such as egg and spoon races, handicap wood chopping and greased pig chasing.

In November 1914, a ‘sports demonstration’ involving athletic events, processions and displays by school children and military units was staged at Hurstville Oval for the benefit of the Patriotic
Fund. The fund had been founded by the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Alderman P.W. Richards, to support the families of the Australian military personnel.

The Hurstville Propeller reported on 4 December 1914, p. 2:

“Saturday last was a gala day in Hurstville, when the sports demonstration arranged by the combined lodges and the citizen committee took place.”

Hurstville Propeller, 4.12.1914, p.2.
Hurstville City Library Museum & Gallery collection.

 

Patriotic sports, Hurstville Oval, November 1914.
Hurstville City Library Museum & Gallery collection.

 

School children’s display, Hurstville Oval, November 1914.
Hurstville City Library Museum & Gallery collection.

Another carnival was held at Hurstville Oval on 20 April 1918, in aid of the local War Relief Fund, “to gather funds to disburse among local soldiers or their dependants who may be in need” (Hurstville Propeller, 12 April 1018, p. 2). Despite heavy rain, around 5000 to 6000 people enjoyed the event. Only the night program was cancelled due to the bad weather (St George Call, 27 April 1918, p. 6).

Hurstville Propeller, 19 April 1918, p. 2.
Hurstville City Library Museum & Gallery collection.

 

Do you want to find out more about Hurstville’s homefront support? Come and visit our exhibition
Follow our Commemorating WW1 and Anzac Day Pinterest board.

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