Brunswick and Coburg During the Campaigns
Like all communities in Australia, Brunswick and Coburg included a diversity of opinion about Conscription. Many significant anti-conscription activists were based in Brunswick, but there were local organisations and individuals who were pro-conscription.
The most notable conscriptionist organisation in the area was the Brunswick City Council. The council had originally tried to suppress any anti-conscriptionist meetings in the area.
Late in 1916, however, the Council was forced to back down and allow anti-conscriptionist meetings in the Town Hall.
From 1915 onwards the Council also controlled the local Mechanics’ Insititute, which was then used as the local recruiting headquarters. Other local pro-conscription organisations included the Brunswick Progress Association and the local branch of the Australian Natives’ Association.
The Brunswick branch of the Political Labor Association was fiercely anti-conscriptionist; so too was the local Catholic congregation. Father O’Connell caused something of a controversy when he refused the Brunswick Mayor permission to attend St Ambrose’s School on Empire Day in 1917, based on the disparaging remarks Cr Phillips had made about Archbishop Mannix. Despite such incidents, however, reports were that the elections themselves were conducted peacefully.
Even sporting teams in Brunswick and Coburg could be sites for political activism. John Curtin and Frank Hyett had first met while playing for Brunswick Football Club. Frank Anstey at the time was club Vice-President – he would serve for many years as its President – and this association helped draw Curtin and Hyett into Anstey’s circle.
Australia and World War One
Photograph - Send-off to the Brunswick Soldiers
Photograph - Brunswick Town Hall Honour Board
Memorial Plaque - Leonard William Telford
Poster - 'Australia has Promised Britain 50,000 More Men'
Labour Activists of Brunswick and Coburg
Photograph - Frank Anstey
Photograph - John Curtin
Photograph - Frank Hyett
Photograph - Maurice Blackburn
The Trade Unions' Anti-conscription Campaign
Handbill - 'The Blood Vote'
Cartoon - 'The Charge of the Would to God Brigade'
Handbill - Slave Conspiracy
The Women's Movement During the War
Photograph - Vida Goldstein
Photograph - Adela Pankhurst
Handbill - Conscription and Woman's Loyalty
Photograph - 'Women's No Conscription Demonstration'
Bella Lavender - Brunswick Campaigner
Photograph - Bella Lavender
Cartoon - Bella Lavender
Letter - Bella Lavender to Education Department
Photograph - Labor Women's Anti-conscription Committee
Religious Perspectives on Conscription
Handbill - Conscription and Christianity
Handbill - Conscription Questions for Voters
Handbill - How Would Christ Vote?
The Catholic Church and Conscription
Photograph - Daniel Mannix
Article - Cause of the War
Article - Revolt Victims
Cartoon - Australian Workman's Burden
Brunswick and Coburg During the Campaigns
Article - No Anti-conscription Meetings in Brunswick
Handbill - Public Meeting Against Conscription
Advertisement - Recruitment Meeting
Article - Remarkably Quiet Day
The Two Referendums
Handbill - Vote Thus Against Conscription
Article - Military Service Referendum Poll
Article - Conscription. Mr Hughes in Queensland
Article - 'Bourke'
The Soldiers' Votes
Diary - Claude Ewart
Photograph - Jack and Bert Grinton
Handbill - Returned Soldiers' No Conscription League Manifesto
Photograph - Soldiers Voting
Consequences for the Campaigners
Inscription - Police Just Raided
Article - 'Failure to Enrol'
Letter - Adela Pankhurst to Sallie Walsh
Article - 'Serenading Miss Pankhurst'
Story education resources
Education Against the Odds: The Victory over Conscription in WW1 Education Resource
The Against The Odds Education Resource provides a stimulating range of activities for students undertaking the compulsory Victorian History Curriculum Level 9/10 unit Australia at war (1914 – 1945). It helps students reflect on the complexities of the conscription debate through a range of analytical, creative and research tasks.
Education Against the Odds: The Victory over Conscription in WW1 Walking Map
The Against the Odds: The Victory over Conscription in WW1 Walking Map is a map of some of the sites described in the digital story or related to individuals therein. Download the map to use it for a self-guided tour in the area.