Monday, 13 October 2014

Patriotic efforts of the Davis family of Moreland Hall, Coburg and others

'Ashleigh', one of the two Glenroy houses used to accommodate sick soldiers during WW1. Image courtesy Broadmeadows Historical Society.

You may have wondered why a Military Hospital in Glenroy has taken up so much space in a blog about Coburg's World War One experiences.

The answer is simple: Much of the fundraising was done in Coburg and the driving force was Miss Linda Davis, daughter of Cr Albert Davis of  'Moreland Hall' and granddaughter of William Davis of 'Nassau', who featured in earlier blogs. Her brother Rupert served in the war, which has also been the subject of an earlier blog entry.

'Moreland Hall', Jessie St., Coburg. Image courtesy Coburg Historical Society.

Linda Davis seems to have been a phenomenal fundraiser right from the start of the war. From September 1914, the local newspaper, the Brunswick and Coburg Leader, reported on Coburg's fundraising efforts, beginning with a Garden Fete at 'Moreland Hall', opened by Maurice Blackburn MLA, to raise funds for the Coburg Patriotic Fund and the Foundling Hospital. 

In early December, Linda Davis helped organise a grand patriotic concert at the Public Hall in Bell Street to raise funds for the Red Cross. 

In the following June, the Brunswick and Coburg Leader reported that Linda had ‘made a systematic canvass of Sydney Road, Coburg, during the week in quest of sweets, tobacco and cigarettes for our returned heroes, and succeeded in gathering a good supply.’

And on it went ...

Linda, her mother and her sister Myrtle were members of the Coburg Branch of the Red Cross. Linda organised a dance at the Public Hall to raise money for the Red Cross and for wounded soldiers. She co-ordinated the knitting of scarves for the troops. She organised a Plain and Fancy Dress Ball. She was responsible for a concert at the YMCA Hall in Broadmeadows that was attended by 1,500 people.

And then the Glenroy Military Hospital opened its doors and as its supervisor, Linda Davis really came into her own.

Fundraising for the Glenroy Military Hospital will be the subject of the next few blog entries...

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