Scene of Father Christmas bringing a large crate of toys to children in a hospital ward with matrons. On the crate is written [To the Silver Chain / From / Santa Claus]. Over looking the scene is the Christmas angel.
Ben Strange signature bottom right.
The cartoon was published in the Western Mail on 8 December 1921 with the caption:
Santa Clause and the Silver Links

Historical information

The Silver Chain was a private organisation who employed nurses to provided medical care and education primarily for pregnant women and new mothers. In the late 1890s and early 1900s Western Australia had one of the worst infant mortality rates in the Commonwealth. The Western Mail played an important role in raising the funds to start the Silver Chain in 1905.
For many years a Christmas fete was held by the Western Mail to raise funds for the organisation. Ben Strange for a number of years produced a special cartoon to promote the fête. One year he even agreed to play Father Christmas at the fête.
The Silver Chain still operates today, providing in home medical care for many members of the community.
Money was raised as part of the Christmas Tree Fête through the Western Mail's Children's Corner where children subscribed and sent in donations for the Christmas Tree. This included a number of children from the local area including Miriam Hardy of Jandakot Road in Armadale who donated 2 shillings and 6 pence to the 1909 Christmas Tree (Western Mail 1 Jan 1919 p42). The money raised was used to provide toys for children who would not otherwise get any and for the Silver Chain nursing service.



Registration number
513 mm
350 mm
Inscriptions and markings

Artist's signature bottom right [Ben Strange]

Statement of significance

The Ben Strange cartoons are historically significant as they depict many key figures linked to the history and development of both Western Australia and Australia. Political figures who regularly appeared in his cartoon’s included John ‘Happy Jack’ Scaddan, the Premier of Western Australia from 1911 until 1916, and William ‘Billy’ Hughes, the Prime Minister of Australia from 1915 to 1923.

Primary significance criteria
Historic significance
Comparative significance criteria
Interpretive capacity
Rare or representative
Well provenanced
City of Armadale - History House

City of Armadale - History House

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