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Miss Coll knitting socks direct from sheep’s fleece in Melbourne. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

  • The Australian Comforts Fund distributed 1,354,328 pairs of woollen socks during WWI, all knitted by volunteers on the home front. New socks helped deter the menace of trench foot.

Socks by Marion Bray

Oh, soldier brave, I thought of you,
As to and fro my needles flew,
As stitch by stitch my knitting grew;
Of you and all who bear the brunt
Of modern warfare’s dread affront.

“God bless my brothers at the Front.
In pride of race no fear have I
That heart should fail of courage fly;
I know that thousands greatly die
That other thousands nobly live.

Thy peace, oh Lord, Thy mercy give
To those who fall, to those who strive
That we in safety may abide.”
God keep thee, friend, whate’er betide
For whom this little task I plied.