Are we downhearted? May Gibb's comfort postcards

Darragh Christie, 17 January 2018 · #

It is exactly 100 years1 since May Gibbs of Nutcote published Snugglepot and Cuddlepie: Their Adventures Wonderful.

Gibbs, May, 1877-1969 Are we downhearted? [ca. 1915] 1 print : hand coloured ; 20 × 14.6 cm. Source:

At the onset of World War I, anxious to contribute to the war effort, May produced over 30 postcard designs that were sent in Red Cross parcels to the Australian troops.2

No doubt these whimsical reminders of home were well received:

‘Sister Susies sewing shirts for soldiers’ patriotic postcard design, 1915 / May Gibbs. The term ‘Sister Susie’ refers to the Australian women who industriously knitted socks and sewed shirts for the soldiers on the war front. The most widely distributed of May’s patriotic postcards, it was reported by newspaper the Sun in September 1915 that ‘ Every parcel that is dispatched contains a card of the Sister Susie Gum Nuts’. May was understandably very proud of this success in her contributions to the war effort. Source: May Gibb’s postcards and commercial art

Footnotes and sources:

1 May Gibbs: an Australian classic State Library NSW Collections retrieved online 17/01/18

2 May Gibb’s postcards and commercial art retrieved online 17/01/18