About the Cheer-Up ‘Our Boys’ Society

The Anzac Centenary Cheer-Up Hut Club is based on the Cheer-Up ‘Our Boys’ Society – a volunteer organisation established on the home front during World War 1 and revitalised in World War II.  The Society was unique to South Australia.

Chances are that your grandmother, her sisters, cousins and their friends were members of one of the many patriotic groups set up across Australia during World War 1 and World War II to assist with the war effort.  The Cheer-Up “Our Boys” Society (CUS) is one of these.

Like other patriotic groups, the foundations of the Cheer-Up Society were built on social, cultural and most particularly the military based networks created to assist soldiers of the earlier Boer War (1899 – 1902).  Many of the original members of the Cheer-Up Society had family members who had fought in the Boer War, or they themselves were members of groups like the South African Soldiers Association, the Transvaal Patriotic Fund and the South African Graves Association. If not these organisations, then they may have been members of civilian groups such as the Town Planning Association, the Freemasons, the Caledonian Society, or the Adelaide Club, connected with the militia and school based military clubs that operated at this time.

The CUS was built on experience and experiences, knowledge of soldiering, absence and loss, and by women who knew how to provide for the tangible needs and comforts of the troops, prior to their departure and upon their return.

The History of the Cheer-Up Society is fascinating and provides a great insight into the impact of war on the home-front in South Australia. At its peak there were approximately 90 or more Cheer-Up Huts established along the railway lines throughout South Australia with the main Cheer-Up Hut located where Adelaide’s Festival Centre now stands.

Read more about his fascinating part of South Australia’s military history via the links below:

  1. When was the Cheer-Up Society established and by who?
  2. Where was the first Cheer-Up Hut located?
  3. What was a typical day volunteering at the Cheer-Up Hut like?
  4. How were the ‘boys’ who came to the Cheer-Up Hut supported?
  5. Who were ‘Our Indefatigable Women’ ?
  6. Were there any ‘Home Front Men’ involved?
  7. What was the link with Violet Day?
  8. How did the Cheer-Up Hut Kitchen work?
  9. What was the Cheer-Up Society Uniform?
  10. What else happened inside the Cheer-Up Hut?
  11. Is there a Cheer-Up Society Honour Roll?
Copyright:  All content about the Cheer-Up Society appearing on this website has been prepared on behalf of Veterans SA by historical archaeologist, Christeen Schoepf (PhD Candidate – Cheer-Up Society) and is copyright protected.