Treasures from the First World War come to Mackay

Cholera belts, cardigans and a curious offering of 31 Nightingales were all shipped off to European battlefields thanks to the people of Mackay during the First World War, according to a State Library of Queensland (SLQ) expert visiting the city on 22 August.

SLQ Regional Coordinator Niles Elvery said the shipments, which included a wrap for wounded soldiers known as a Nightingale, were catalogued in Red Cross magazines and helped to detail Mackay’s contribution to the war effort.

These 100-year-old magazines, along with precious letters, diaries and photographs will be on display at Dudley Denny City Library as part of a free white gloves interactive experience hosted by State Library.

Mr Elvery said the white gloves experience allowed people to get up close and personal with a carefully curated selection of treasures from the Mackay area including the Red Cross magazine and the Fudge diaries.

Louis Fudge, a former Mirani State School student and locomotive driver, fought in the war and kept meticulous notes of his activities in a series of diaries for his wife Nell back home.

In the first diary Louis wrote: “To My Dear Wife Nell, As the censor has access to all letters I intend in this, and perhaps other books, to give you, in the form of a diary, as it were, a rather full account of our doings”.

The workshops are part of the Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation program and provides the community with an opportunity to participate in the 100 year commemoration of the First World War.

Q ANZAC 100 captures living memories of Queensland’s experiences during and after the First World War and provides people across Queensland an opportunity to learn, understand and contribute to the Anzac Centenary.

Where: Dudley Denny City Library
When: Wednesday 22 August  
White gloves experience | 10 am- 12 pm
Conservation clinic | 1pm – 4pm
Free, bookings required or 07 4961 9387

First World War Treasures: a white gloves experience, is part of SLQ’s Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation program, proudly supported by the Queensland Government.

For further media information and images please contact:
Dianne McKean | 07 3842 9847 |

Library membership

Become an SLQ member now to access our services, collections and facilities.

Library Shop online

Discover an eclectic range of books, gifts, reproduction prints and more at the Library Shop.