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Certificate - 'A Help to Victory on Empire Day from the Boys and Girls of the Empire', circa 1917 Document Reg. No: HT 25014

Summary:
Patriotic printed paper certificate, full colour, inscribed 'A Help to Victory on Empire Day from the Boys and Girls of the Empire'. The certificate features a group of prople including an allegorical Brittania, an archetypal soldier and sailor, two girls and a boy. It is inscribed with the name May Smith.

The certificate was issued by the Over Seas Club in London. It was cheaply made, and mass-produced.

The Imperial War Museum, London, holds a poster relating to this program. That poster gives a context to the certificate, boasting that 'Since the outbreak of War the School Children of the Empire have contributed over 5,000,000 pennies, enabling the Over-Seas Club to send more than 400,000 parcels of Tobacco, Cigarettes, and other greatly needed comforts to the fearless Soldiers who are driving back the enemy, and to the gallant Sailors who are keeping steadfast watch on the submarine and mine-infested seas. This is a splendid tribute to the interest and pride with which the rising generation is watching the splendid exploits of the heroes who are fighting for the honour of our glorious Empire and the freedom of civilization'.

Empire Day was celebrated on 24 May (Queen Victoria's birthday) from its inception in 1905, to promote patriotism in the British Empire, amongst school children in particular. Schools typically sung verses of "Rule Britannia" and "Advance Australia Fair" on Empire Day before a half day holiday.
Description:
Rectantular printed paper certificate, full colour. Features image of group of people on left, looking across sea with battleships to a green field beyond, on which soldiers with guns fight. The group of prople comprises an allegorical Brittania, an archetypal soldier and sailor, two girls and a boy. A shield in front of them is inscribed '1917'. A British flag is draped at their feet. Stylized rays of sun extend from behind the group of people.

Some creasing of certificate, particularly in upper right and lower left corners; staining visible on back.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 125 mm (Height), 200 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: allegorical art, world war i 1914-1918, childhood, world war i fundraising, soldiers comforts
Themes this item is part of: Childhood & Youth Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: MILITARY HISTORY
Secondary Classification: Civilian Life
Tertiary Classification: certificates
Inscriptions: Printed on front: 'A HELP TO VICTORY / ON EMPIRE DAY / from the / Boys & Girls of the Empire'. In box below: 'Presented to May Smith [name written by hand] / Who has helpoed to send some comfort & / happiness to the brave men who are fighting / to uphold the freedom of our Glorious Empire'. Beneath: 'Patron / H.M. the King / OverSeas Club / General Buildings / Aldwych London, W.C.'
Place & Date Issued: Over Seas Club, London, England, Great Britain, circa 1917

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