Case 5: Australia To-Day's War

The magazine Australia To-Day was an annual supplement to the Commercial Travellers' Association house journal The Traveller, from 1905 to 1973. It had wide circulation in Australia and was published in time to be sent 'home' to the United Kingdom at Christmas in the hope of attracting immigrants.

During 1940-6 it carried many articles on aspects of the war, with numerous photographic illustrations, some obtained from the Commonwealth Department of Information, and most of the advertisements made some reference to the war effort.

Artist Cliff Wood, who did many paintings for the magazine over two decades, was unsuccessful in his application to become an Official War Artist, but his talents were used as a camofleur in the North, whence he made a number of pencil sketches towards future paintings. And he continued to do artwork for Australia To-Day.

  • Original paintings for 1940 and 1941 covers.
  • 1944 issue, cover painting by Wood, showing digger with Australian-made Owen gun.
  • One of Wood's sketchbooks (C. Dudley Wood Collection).
  • Foreword to Australia To-Day, 1940 (prepared October 1939) by William Morris Hughes, Commonwealth Attorney-General and Minister of Industry - 'We must be prepared to give up our leisure, to put other interests aside in the great task which lies ahead of us, the task of keeping Australia British and free'.
  • Selection of photographs, including 'Anzac Day in Palestine: AIF March in Jerusalem'; 'Reading Room, American Red Cross Service Club; Melbourne ('2000 girls have volunteered as dancing partners')'; 'forging gun barrel in 2,000 ton press at Port Kembla'; 'U.S. doughboys listen to rebroadcast of latest football results from home' (an Australian network of 12 stations carried this service each week; the lone Aussie seems less interested); 'Kudjiru, an important outpost', through which Australian patrols passed, aided by New Guineans and miners who went there in the 1930s, on their way across the Owen Stanley Range to Kokoda (all from 1943 issue of Australia To-Day).
Commercial Travellers' Association Collection