Red Cross Tennis Prize Medal, circa 1940.
This medal, issued by the Red Cross Society, reflects the use of sport as a fund-raising activity in Melbourne during World War Two. The Australian Red Cross Society was formed in 1914, and in 1938 became independent from the British Red Cross. During World War II 347 men and 193 women from the Red Cross served in 23 countries, as well as on hospital ships and aircraft carriers. Thousands of Australian volunteers spent hundreds of hours in Red Cross offices around the country, packing Red Cross parcels, sewing clothes and processing tracing requests. Volunteers also worked in hospitals throughout Australia, and the Australian Red Cross supplied all personnel except for doctors and nurses for civil emergency hospitals and first aid posts. They cooked meals, carried out immunization programs and organized blood donor drives. Australian Red Cross staff also provided assistance to captured and wounded enemy soldiers being treated in military hospitals. One of their principal duties was to provide weekly food parcels, clothing, medical and other supplies to Australian Prisoners-of-war. The Red Cross Tracing and Message Service was also one of the busiest services during World War II. During 1943 alone some 230,000 letters were distributed to POW camps in Malaya, Java, Shanghai, Hong Kong, China, Burma and Japan. The Australian Red Cross carried out a vast range of other relief operations throughout the war.
Silver plated medal depicting Head of female nurse left; around, AUSTRALIAN RED CROSS SOCIETY and figure of man serving a tennis ball to right, dressed in long trousers and short-sleeved shirt
Head of female nurse left; around, AUSTRALIAN RED CROSS SOCIETY
Figure of man serving a tennis ball to right, dressed in long trousers and short-sleeved shirt
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 15 Mar 1976
circa 1940 AD
Plain (edge) Head of female nurse left; around, AUSTRALIAN RED CROSS SOCIETY (obverse) Figure of man serving a tennis ball to right (reverse)
Type of item
57 mm (Outside Diameter), 72.73 g (Weight)