As for the Victorian 1900 Patriotic Fund issue, there was a widespread patriotic fervor supporting the Colonial troops who had gone to fight as part of the British Empire forces against the Boers in South Africa. This was especially so for those who died there or who returned as invalids. The support also extended to the wives and families of the troops - many wives being left with no income by their husbands.

Local communities often banded together to help families of troops who had left from that community. That approach provided uneven support. Hence, as reported in the Brisbane Courier of 20 January 1900:

The following circular letter is being sent by the committee of the Queensland Patriotic Fund to all Mayors and Chairman of Municipal councils and divisional boards and other representative bodies:

Sir, At a public meeting held in the Town Hall on the 8th instant to consider the advisability of amalgamating the various Patriotic Funds throughout the colony, the following resolution was carried unanimously:

"That, in the opinion of this meeting, it is desirable that the various Patriotic Funds throughout the colony shall, with the consent of the various holders of contributions, be amalgamated into one general fund, such fund to be called the 'Queensland Patriotic Fund" and to be under the control and supervision of a committee of management. The duties of such committee will be to extend the operation of the fund so as to embrace all parts of the colony, and to provide for the proper distribution of the funds amongst the disabled Queensland volunteers and dependents of such Queensland volunteers who may unfortunately lose their lives in the execution of their duty, and whose dependents, in the opinion of the committee,are in need of such assistance".

This resolution speaks for itself, but I should like to briefly indicate several reasons why these funds should be consolidated:

The Queensland contingents to South Africa are not Northern, Southern, Central or Western contingents. Those volunteers are, first and last, Queenslanders and therefore it is the duty of Queenslanders as a united people to make a common provision as large as possible, for those volunteers or their dependents who may require assistance. Whilst fully recognising some advantages of decentralisation in administration, yet we feel assured that, combined with the hearty co-operation of district committees, which will be advisory, a central body is absolutely necessary to make the Queensland Patriotic Fund one which will be a credit to this large and prosperous colony.

The least reflection will show that, unless there is a general fund, confusion and even injustice may arise. A Queensland volunteer, whether from a district where money has or has not been subscribed, should be entitled to the same equal consideration. This equal consideration, it seems to us, can only be obtained by a central committee administering a common fund. A central committee will be able to call into existence funds in districts that have not yet taken action, devise ways and means for enlarging present lists and secure a reasonable rate of interest on the funds until finally disposed of. Speedier and probably more information will be available at Brisbane as to the requirements of those for whom the fund is intended. Military advice can be better obtained in the capital than in the more remote parts of the colony. ...

As casualties are even now occurring amongst Queensland troops in South Africa, I trust you will recognise that this movement calls for early attention; therefore, please wire or write me your decision at your earliest convenience, care of his worship the Mayor of Brisbane. Funds may be remitted to Queensland National Bank Limited, Brisbane, and marked "Queensland Patriotic Fund."

Not all Government Departments shared the community spirit. For example, the Walcha Witness of 5 May 1900 reported the following:

"A resident of Lismore recently sent to the authorities in Sydney £20 to be sent to Pretoria for the use of Richmond River men who were prisoners in the Transvaal capital.

Subsequently he received a demand for £14 17s 6d cable charges. Enough to smother any patriotic spirit". 

The Brisbane Courier of 25 June 1900 reported:

the Queensland Patriotic Fund has already raised £24,539 0s 11d and that the special issue of Patriotic stamps was then available at all Post Offices.

By 4 September 1900, the amount held by the Fund had increased to £26,512 16s 9d.


Further details and pictures can be found at

The Queensland and British contingents
marching down Queen Street, Brisbane in 1901.