I recently rediscovered a book on our shelves called The Cub by Ethel Turner. It had belonged to my great aunt Rosemary Cudmore (1904 – 1987), given to her for Christmas 1915 by her godmother, Florence T. Davies.
On 25 June 1914 the Cudmores left England sailing for Australia on the P&O steamship Malwa, arriving in Adelaide at the beginning of August just a few days before war was declared.
|PERSONAL. (1914, August 1). The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 – 1954), p. 5 Section: SATURDAY’S NEWS SECTION.. Retrieved October 5, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59739789 . I suspect he did not visit all the surgical clinics in England and America!|
One of their fellow passengers was Henry Balfour, a British archaeologist, who wrote a diary of their passage. It is transcribed at http://www.pandosnco.co.uk/malwa1914.html .
|Malwa off Colombo retrieved from http://www.pandosnco.co.uk/malwa1914.html|
Below is an article from the Adelaide Advertiser of 30 October 1915 about Ethel Turner’s book The Cub. Florence Davies might have been inspired by this to buy the book as a present for her god daughter.
Two children’s books dealing with the war, both published in time for Christmas 1915, Ethel Turner’s book The Cub and a book by Mary Grant Bruce in the Billabong series, are discussed by David Walker in a 1978 article in the Journal of Historical Studies. Walker contends that Ethel Turner and Mary Grant Bruce responded quickly to the war. He suggest that these children’s books “reveal the responses of articulate, patriotic women to an event [the war] of undisputed importance to Australian society”. He also notes that analyses of World War I literature tend to overlook children’s books but in fact these books can be very revealing about “views on women’s obligations [and] the qualities they expected to find in young men during a national crisis”. (Walker, David R. “War, Women And The Bush: The Novels Of Mary Grant Bruce And Ethel Turner.” Historical Studies 18.71 (1978): 297-315. Austlit Full Text Articles For The Children’s Literature Digital Resources Project (Cldr). AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource, 9 Apr. 2009. Web. 5 Oct. 2014. <http://www.austlit.edu.au/common/fulltext-content/pdfs/brn575749/brn575749.pdf>.)