Red Cross Vehicle Number Plate (WW1)

Production date
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Object detail

Enamelled. Red cross and red 204 on white background.
TRANSPORT Motor Vehicle Accessories number plate
Production date
Production place
L280 x W202
Media/Materials description
Painted steel.
+ \ 204
History and use
This numberplate was one of several hundred issued by the Red Cross Motor Service during World War 1. They were given to car owners in Sydney who volunteered to transport wounded or sick returning soldiers from the wharves where the transport ships came in. The volunteer car owners were given a badge and a Red Cross numberplate for the front of their cars so that they were recognisable. The numberplate also gave the cars access to the wharf or railway at a time when large crowds usually gathered to see the returning soldiers. The service operated from about March 1915 when the first hospital ship arrived from Gallipoli, until the last official transport ship arrived in 1920.

From May 1918, rather than providing individual trips, the Service vehicles travelled in procession, giving a fitting reception to returned service personnel and also encouraging recruitment.

A similar service was offered in Brisbane by members of the Automobile Club of Qld (now RACQ) and the Taxi Cab Drivers Association.
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