The John Oxley Library has recently digitised a wonderful collection of three World War I scrapbooks compiled from material collected by George Woodthorpe Hackett. The scrapbooks contain booklets, pamphlets, leaflets, gazettes, reports, programmes and assorted ephemeral material relating to the First World War.
George Woodthorpe Hackett was a 22 year old clerk from Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, when he enlisted in the Army Medical Corps with the 6th Field Ambulance, serving on the Western Front. After the war he returned to his job with the Railway Department where he worked until 1940, retiring in August of that year due to ill health. Sadly he died on the 8th January 1941, leaving a widow and two young children.
After the war Hackett was honorary secretary of the Australian Army Medical Corps Ex-A.I.F. Association, treasurer of the Totally and Permanently Disabled Soldiers’ Association and also a member of the John Oxley Memorial Library Committee. In August 1938 the Oxley Library decided to extend its activities to the collection of documents and mementoes of the Great War. It is significant that George Woodthorpe Hackett was a member of the sub-committee appointed to facilitate this objective. This was possibly the avenue through which the scrapbooks were acquired by the library.
The first scrapbook contains material relating to recruitment, conscription, Commonwealth and State Government gazettes and programmes for civil patriotic efforts during and after the war.
Scrapbook Number 2 contains material concerning religious and civil celebrations in connection with peace and the commemoration of Armistice Day; appeals and programmes in connection with war memorials; pamphlets issued by the University of Queensland War Committee, and miscellaneous items including the Peace Souvenir front page of The Observer newspaper, 11th November 1918.
Scrapbook No. 3 contains programmes for Anzac Day concerts, services and commemorations.
Hackett’s Scrapbooks, Accession OM92-46, may be viewed in the John Oxley Library Reading Room or online at: http://hdl.handle.net/10462/eadarc/1525
Original Materials Librarian