Poems

Joe Dolce: ‘Booval Tea Ladies’

Booval Tea Ladies During World War I, 35,000 returned soldiers, many wounded and ill, passed through Ipswich. The Booval Comfort Club provided aid to Australian fighting men— motto: Keep the fit man fit. Rationing restricted women’s clothing. Flour bags, old sheets, saved towels, made dresses, under-garments, crocheted with butcher’s twine. At Swanbank Rail Station, with its green window-frames and red tin roof, scones and biscuits were baked, handed to troops passing through by rail. Piping hot cups of warm wishes. The Billy Can Scheme brought Christmas cakes, cigarettes and gifts, in tins. Soldiers called them barrels of sunshine. Joe Dolce

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