Stratford Historical Society and Museum

News from the Stratford Historical Society and Museum, in Stratford, Gippsland, Victoria. We are open Tuesdays from 10am to 3pm, and the fourth Sunday of the month from 2pm to 4pm. Our postal address is P.O. Box 145, Stratford, 3862.

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Location: Victoria, Australia

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Alice Mitchell's sewing machine

Alice Mitchell

Stratford Historical Society was recently delighted to welcome a film crew from Ryebuck Media, who are working on the topic of women's experiences during war.

They were there to film Alice Mitchell's sewing machine, currently on display in the Museum. Alice joined the Red Cross in 1914, and was a member for over 62 years. In her later years, she said:

"The Stratford branch of the Red Cross was formed here in 1914, and I was a foundation member. We each made a promise to finish a certain amount of knitting and sewing for the boys each week as long as it was necessary. I promised to knit three pairs of socks, make two flanelette singlets and one pair of pyjamas every week. I kept that promise!"

Alice lost three brothers in the war in 1916, and her fiancee.

The machine on which she made all those singlets and pyjamas, is now in the museum.

However we were very taken with the photo of Alice, above, right. She has a beautiful face. The identity of the Red Cross dignitary, on the left, is not known to us.