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2001/45/2 Booklet, 'The Grey Sock', paper / metal, published by the Soldiers' Sock Fund, Australia, 1914-1918. Click to enlarge.

Booklet ‘The Grey Sock’

Made by Soldiers' Sock Fund in Australia, Oceania, 1914-1918.
This booklet was printed by the Soldiers' Sock Fund to provide instruction for knitting socks for soldiers during World War One. Proceeds from the sales of the booklet also went to the fund.

The Soldiers' Sock Fund was one of a number of comfort funds and organisations launched in the first two years of the First World War in Australia. Among the others were the Australian Branch of the British Red Cross, the Lord Mayor's Patriotic and War Fund of New South Wales and the Australian Comfort Fund or ACF. By 1916 most of the funds had been consolidated into the Red Cross or the ACF. It is likely therefore that this booklet was published during 1914 or 1915.

Soldiers' funds typically organised the manufacture and/or collection of clothing and foodstuffs for troops at the front. Woollen socks were particularly popular. Such contributions were made primarily by women and schoolgirls and were seen as the appropriate homefront manifestations of loyalty and patriotism by women. Thousands of women and girls participated, moved by personal and/or national and imperial loyalties.

The organisations were often run by society women such as Lady Eliza Cullen, wife of Chief Justice Sir William Portus Cullen and daughter of wealthy grazier RHD White. Indeed the committee list in this booklet indicates that Lady Cullen was a member of the Soldiers's Sock Fund. She was also a founding vice president, and later president of the New South Wales division of the Red Cross. She held fundraising events in the grounds of the her Balmoral mansion, Tregoyd.

Ian Hoskins
Curator 2000


Object No.


Object Statement

Booklet, 'The Grey Sock', paper / metal, published by the Soldiers' Sock Fund, Australia, 1914-1918

Physical Description

Stapled 12 page booklet entitled 'The Grey Sock'. The cover reads: 'THE / Grey Sock / Proceeds of the Sale / to be devoted to the / Soldiers' Sock Fund'. Contains instructions for knitting grey wool socks. The instructions have been annotated in ink.


Annotations to printed text, handwritten in blue and black ink



102 mm


60 mm



The booklet was produced by the Soldiers' Sock Fund and all proceeds from its sale went to the fund.

It is likely that the booklet was published in 1914 or 1915 as most funds were integrated into the Australian Comfort Funds or the Red Cross from 1916.



The hand-written annotations suggest that this book was actually used for knitting socks.

The booklet was donated to the Macleay Museum and has been transferred to the Museum.


Credit Line

Gift of the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney, 2001

Acquisition Date

31 May 2001

Cite this Object


Booklet 'The Grey Sock' 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 5 July 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Booklet 'The Grey Sock' |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=5 July 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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