It has been an interesting exercise to find images to cover such a variety of topics. Women were not always portrayed favourably, especially in the political cartoons of the day. Publications like Freelance and Truth condemned the ‘wowser’ prohibitionists as out to spoil a boy’s fun (men did not escape the condemnation, either) or they depicted women as vain and ignorant.
|Ref: Cartoon from the New Zealand Freelance, 6 March 1915, p.11.|
The caption for the cartoon above reads:
Shopman: “Yes, Miss, all face powders have gone up in price on account of the war.”
Young lady: “Oh, isn’t war terrible!”
Yet, while women did not fight in the First World War, they did step up. They took over the jobs vacated by the men, and while some agitated against the war itself, others were desperate to serve, for example, the nurses who enrolled in the newly formed New Zealand Army Nursing Service. Women raised funds however they could -- from street appeals to social events -- doing whatever it took to raise money for the war effort.
|Ref: A E Watkinson, Women's patriotic work... 8 November 1917,|
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19171108-35-1
But it was, of course, the men and the boys who saw and endured the action on the battlefields. To commemorate the men, Auckland Libraries launches the website Our Boys, Your Stories at the Auckland Heritage Festival. Our Boys recalls the men and boys who served in the First World War and their lasting legacies.