Stories from the Archives

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World War 1 – Knitting for Victory

A century ago knitting was an important activity for PLC Sydney students. Indeed, at times it was the biggest single activity that occupied the girls. Why? Knitting was a way the girls helped the war effort.

In September 1914 the Aurora Australis declared “The motto adopted by the girls this term seems without doubt to have been – ‘Knit for the Knight is going.’ It has been the fashion to knit unceasingly and unsparingly. . .”

In December 1915 the magazine published a poem which began:

Knitting, knitting, knitting
Hear the needles click,
For to help the soldiers,
They must e’en be quick.*

That same month the Ashfield Branch of the Red Cross Society offered prizes of 5s and 2s 6d for the best pair of socks knitted by a past or present PLC girl under the age of 20.

Queen Mary’s Private Secretary sent a letter -- on Buckingham Palace stationery – to the College in December 1916: “The Queen has duly received the bale of socks you have so kindly sent for our Soldiers and Sailors.”*

Knitting socks takes considerable skill. There were approved patterns with exact instructions to follow. Our Chaplain, Mrs Morphew, has used these directions to knit a pair of World War I approved socks. *

*See these items and more displayed at Marden Heritage Centre




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