Verco Building, North Tce, Adelaide - home of the Red Cross courtesy State Library of SA B-1826
South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau
The South Australian Information Bureau was formally established in December 1915 and opened its doors for business on 6 January 1916 in the newly built Verco Buildings on North Terrace.
South Australians were invited to write or call at the Bureau, open to the public between 2.30 and 5pm.
The Red Cross networks provided opportunities for desperate relatives to inquire after loved ones. When an inquiry was received, either by letter or personal visit, a card was opened ‘and carefully filed in packet form under an index also noted on the cards. This packet would contain a complete record of every step taken, and all information obtained relative to the particular soldier. As information was received, it was forwarded to the enquirer.
All the work was undertaken by volunteers. The Bureau operated thanks to the efforts of solicitors (all male, except for one – Mrs Napier) and a team of women, who undertook clerical duties.
With the mornings full with the vast array of administrative and organisational tasks undertaken by Bureau volunteers, personal interviews with concerned inquirers were held each afternoon with legal representatives.
The archives of the South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau are held by the State Library of South Australia, and can be accessed online: https://sarcib.ww1.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/
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