Handbill - 'The Blood Vote'
Handbill - 'The Blood Vote',
State Library of Victoria,
Riley and ephemera collection,
Political ephemera relating to Conscription, anti, 1916.Contributors
The ‘Blood Vote’ was probably the single most influential piece of campaign material produced by the anti-conscription campaign. It encouraged women to vote according to their own identity as mothers.
This cartoon was famous as soon as it was produced, and has been ever since. Ted Holloway, who at the time was Secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall, later said that it was “the most effective single piece of propaganda for our side, which decided the votes of perhaps tens of thousands of women”.
The handbill was based on a poem written by William Robert Winspear, Secretary of the Australian Socialist Party, and was drawn by radical Sydney artist Claude Marquet. It was authorised by John Curtin in his role as Secretary of the Anti-Conscription Campaign.
The Blood Vote
Why is your face so white, mother?
Why do you choke for breath?
O I have dreamt in the night, my son
That I doomed a man to death
Why do you hide your hand, mother?
And crouch above it in dread?
It beareth a dreadful branch, my son
With the dead man's blood 'tis red
I hear his widow cry in the night
I hear his children weep
And always within my sight, O God!
The dead man's blood doth leap
They put the dagger into my grasp.
It seemed but a pencil then
I did not know it was a fiend a gasp
For the priceless blood of men
They gave me the ballot paper.
The grim death-warrant of doom,
And I smugly sentenced the man to death
In that dreadful little room.
I put it inside the Box of Blood
Nor thought of the man I'd slain
Till at midnight came like a whelming flood
God's word and Brand of Cain
O little son! O my little son!
Pray God for your Mother's soul
That the scarlet stain may be white again
In God's great Judgement Roll
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.