An online database to aid in the interpretation of names on Quilt and record information about these persons.
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White linen, commercially produced single bed sheet, that has been subsequently autographed and embroided to make a quilt or coverlet. All embroidery is in two gauges of white cotton embroidery thread. Unless otherwise stated the embroidery is in stemstitch, with a small amount of chainstitch. All the autographs would have originally have been written in pencil before being over-embroidered. The top edge of the quilt has a 6cm deep hem edged with drawn threadwork. Beneath it, in satinstitch, is a decorative scroll of grapes, vine leaves and tendrils. The hem and scroll were part of the original bed sheet. Beneath this is hand stemstiched lettering 'Rylstone Autograph Quilt'. The main body of the quilt is covered with numerous embroidered autographs bordered by a wide variety of embroidered shapes. The shapes include stars, flowers, circles, and five large multi-facetted circular shapes. The central circular shape bears the cypher of King George V and 'FOR OUR DARDANELLES AUSTRALIAN WOUNDED 1915'. Two of the other circles bear the names 'A.C. ROBBINS A.H.FREEMAN' and 'J.D. SANDSTROM' (Robbins and Freeman were Rylstone district Gallipoli casualties). The other two circles bear the names of well known Australian commanding officers killed on Gallipoli, 'Genl Bridges' and 'Cols MacLaurin Braund [and] Onslow Thompson'. The names of 49 soldiers with a Rylstone district connection have been written by the same hand around some of the circles and then embroidered over.
Autograph 'quilts' were a common method of fund raising in Australia during the First World War, especially in country areas. The idea behind them was that an individual would sign the quilt in pencil and then pay to have the signature embroidered over. In this way funds were raised for the war effort, The Rylstone quilt is unusual in that the signatures and decorative embroidery are in white on a white ground. The majority of quilts were embroidered with red thread on a white ground.
There are over 900 names embroidered on the quilt. They include names of soldiers from the Rylstone district and the signatures of civilians from the Rylstone in New South Wales. As far as can be ascertained , 49 soldiers from the district are listed on the quilt. Work continues to identify the servicemen. All those identified enllisted between August 1914 to July 1915, implying that the quilt was completed by mid-1915.