16th July 2020

An interesting new uniform button.Thanks, Cam Smith.

Women’s National Emergency Legion

Wallace Bishop Brisbane

Cam Smith









This was a women’s volunteer group started in Brisbane and extended to regional Queensland from 1938 to at least October 1947.

The Telegraph (Brisbane) 25th January 1939 page 1.

It provided first aid and other training to allow women to help with the war effort, and was an  auxiliary of the Department of Defence. Despite being a civilian organisation, it adopted military style uniforms and ranks.  Around 1940 they became affiliated with Britain’s First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (F.A.N.Y.)

State Library Queensland  item: 99284843402061 Members in 1943.

Following the outbreak of the Pacific War members were attached to U.S. units as drivers and clerks. Some watched for mines for the Naval Corps and some worked with the Volunteer Air Observers.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_National_Emergency_Legion


Wallace Bishop

Mr Bishop was a British migrant who came to Australia in 1908 from Birmingham. He started a jewellery store in 1920 in Adelaide Street, Brisbane. He had come to  Australia to become a farmer, which he also did around 1932. His son, Carl, and grandson Wallace would also join the firm. The firm continues in family control.

Wallace Bishop

Brisbane Telegraph, 23rd November 1954 page 20. Carl Bishop

The Telegraph (Brisbane), 25th September 1939 page 15.The Wallace Bishop Arcade, opened in 1939.

Brisbane Telegraph, 23rd November 1954 page 19. The new shop front in Adelaide Street.

For all comments and questions, please use the Contact page.