Monday, August 1, 2016


Often  items are shown on the BBC Antiques Roadshow  which  have a  strong  Australian connection  and you wonder if any journalist  bothers to do a follow up  story .  Take the instance  of  the most unusual Sister Susie's Shirt , a "wash bag " ,  given to WW1  Diggers, which had  items such as   buttons, possibly sewing gear , and  even a tape measure  to assist in  keeping  uniforms in order  , as well as something  into which to put their  socks .

The tape , which hung like a decoration from the pocket , unravelled  to three feet along which were  flags of  the  Allied  nations , the last one  that of Australia  with the message  to Remember   Gallipoli , April 1915.

An Australian  woman   presented the  shirt along with a  photograph and a letter  of  a relative . It was pointed out that there was a wartime song , Sister Susie's Sewing Shirts   for  Soldiers ,on a Singer Sewing machine ,  sung by Al Jolson ,  the  verses of  which became  faster  causing soldiers who had been drinking  beer   to  slur when   they   joined  in the  singing .