Ugly men to the rescue

Ugliology and the Ugly Men’s Voluntary Workers’ Association – goodness, what is it, and who are they? You reckon it’s all to do with being ugly don’t you! We did too. That was until we read their motto:

Show us the poor widow, the physically and mentally starved orphan, the sick and suffering, especially if dependents of soldiers, and we will show you how we interpret the Divine instruction to ‘do as we would be done by’.

And ‘do’ they most certainly did. In the last years of World War I, some volunteer tradesmen in Perth wanted to relieve the living conditions of the wives of soldiers at the front. They accomplished ‘so much good work in two Saturdays and Sundays’ that they decided to form an association to continue the work.

Having requested information about the association, the Minister for Repatriation acclaimed the Ugly Men’s ‘splendid patriotic work’. Now that’s something to salute!

  • read caption below
    Ugliology booklet cover
  • read caption below
    Letter sent on request to the Department of Repatriation, 11 February 1918
Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017