Badge Flag. Red Cross Soc. 1918-19

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Object detail

Obv: "Membership Badge" "Red Cross Society" Red Cross. Pin at top. Rev: "Australian Branch Queensland Division May 1st 1918 to April 30th 1919"
CH classification NUMISMATICS (MEDALS AND OTHER) Badges Civil red cross
L38 x W35 mm
Media/Materials description
Paper, brass
History and use
This badge was created as part of a state-wide membership drive organised by the Red Cross Society towards the end of WW1 in Queensland in 1918. The Red Cross as we know it today was an outcome of World War 1; it came into being nine days after Britain entered the War, and quickly spread to colonial outposts such as Australia. Badges such as this were made by the Queensland Division of the Red Cross and sold through suburban branches in conjunction with the organisation’s annual ‘Red Cross Day’ event in July. The membership drive targeted every man, woman and child – it was a wish of the Red Cross to have every individual in the state join up.

At the cost of 2/6, a person was entitled to 12 months membership with the Red Cross Society which gave them the right to wear the badge. These badges were distinct from the Red Cross house badges in that they were designed in the form of a small flag with a pin and printed on the back were the membership dates. If a person paid 5/ they were entitled to member privileges including the right to display a Red Cross Service Flag in front of their business or private home.

The idea for the membership drive in Queensland was based on similar fundraising activities organised by the Red Cross Society in Sydney, New South Wales, and in the United States with an objective of increasing funds to aid the war effort in addition to increasing Red Cross membership and ongoing support.

This membership badge was donated by Beryl Harris (nee Wilkinson) who grew up in Queensland as a young teen during WW1. At the age of 12, Beryl Wilkinson volunteered in Nambour to help raise funds for the Red Cross Society on Red Cross Day in July 1916.
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