Students at the University of Sydney

Students and World War I

Over 1800 members of the University were engaged in active military or naval service in World War I. In addition to graduates and University staff, a large number were undergraduate students.

The women students of the University formed an organisation for women's work in connection with the Red Cross and other services, and rendered valuable assistance.

Of those who enlisted, 197 gave their lives. Over 240 decorations were won, including one Victoria Cross awarded to Lieut. Percy Valentine Storkey, a student in the Faculty of Law.


War Chest Fete, 25 September 1918

The University Men's and Women's Undergraduates' Association organised a fete in the University grounds on Wednesday 25 September 1918, in aid of the War Chest Fund.

Earlier in the day, the students had toured the city in a motor car dressed as minstrels, and with the aid of a drum to attract the crowds, sold tickets for the fete and its side-shows.

The gates were opened at 2.30pm, and the official opening ceremony was performed by the Chancellor, Sir William Cullen, at 3.00pm. An entrance fee of 1/- was charged.

The grounds and buildings were open for inspection. The following stalls were held in the quadrangle: comforts, produce, fancy, flowers, sweets, cakes, bachelor's and treasure trove. There were numerous side-shows, tennis and miniature golf, while at night moving pictures were shown in the open. Lecturettes were given, and tea was served at the Union, Fisher (new MacLaurin Hall) and Manning House. Girl graduates supervised the stalls in the quadrangle, and attended to the refreshments. A company of minstrels gave several performances throughout the afternoon and evening.

The newly-formed corps of 105 students, who had recently enlisted for active service, came in from the University oval,
where they are camped, and had a last revel at the fete. Some of them masqueraded as police officers and arrested Sir William Cullen and fined him ten shillings for not using a tin opener to open the fete. The professors and all known visitors were also arrested on frivolous pretexts, and fined. If they objected they were fined again. The policeman on duty was fined for being in uniform.

Gallery
1918

Sir William Cullen declares the fete open, photo, The Australasian, 5 October 1918, National Library of Australia.

1918

Stalls in the University grounds, photo, The Australasian, 5 October 1918, National Library of Australia.

1918

Flower sellers, photo, The Australasian, 5 October 1918, National Library of Australia.

1918

Lady Cullen playing quoits, photo, The Australasian, 5 October 1918, National Library of Australia.

1918

Students dressed as constables arrest their professors, photo, The Australasian, 5 October 1918, National Library of Australia.