WORLD WAR 1 SIGNATURE SUPPER CLOTH
This hand-embroidered linen supper cloth is an interesting donation which is currently being researched by members of the Blacksmith Cottage and Forge Bookbarn Committee.
World War 1 is the common link between the names of Australian cities, ports, people and objects which have been embroidered skillfully with amazing needle skills on a piece of linen. The cloth’s origins are unknown however the embroidered name of the S.S.WARILDA stands out as being quite significant out on this supper cloth. The S.S.Warilda was a passenger/cargo ship was built in 1912 by the Adelaide Steam Ship Company for the east and south west coastal trade of Australia in those early years.
In 1915 the S.S. Warilda became a transport ship for Australian troops joining the war in Europe. Later in 1916 the Admiralty seconded the ship to become a hospital ship for the U.K. forces. On 3rd August 1918, during one of its trips between Southhampton and Le Havre it was sunk by a German submarine. Some survivors were rescued.
Could this ship be a common link?
It appears the cloth has names of those who died at war, as well as those that returned, along with names of relatives and perhaps the city/ town/ club where they enlisted. Most names originate in Adelaide particularly the Rose Park area. Of particular interest is an embroidered tennis ball representing a church tennis club which had 6 members who were enlisted service men. Their names are listed on the cloth.
More research is being undertaken to find out more about the cloth and the names embroidered on it. The cloth can be viewed at the Blacksmith Cottage when it is next open to the public on Sunday 19th January from 10am – 4pm. Entry is FREE