Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Queen's Appeal to Needlework Guilds


Queen Mary has issued the following appeal:—
I appeal to all the presidents of the needlework guilds throughout the British Isles to organize a large collection of garments for those who will suffer on account of the war, and I appeal to all women who are in a position to do so to aid the guilds with their work.

Garments will be of service to the soldiers, sailors, and Territorials, to their families, to the military and naval hospitals, and to those among the poorer classes of the population who will suffer from any distress that may arise.

I hope that the guilds will cooperate with the Prince of Wales's National Relief Fund, with the Red Cross Society,... the Territorial Associations, Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Associations, and the Soldiers’ and Sailors' Help Society.

The most useful garments for soldiers and sailors on active service are flannel shirts, socks, sweaters, and cardigan jackets; for the naval and military hospitals, nightshirts, pyjamas, flannel bed-jackets, and bed-socks...

Large numbers of all the ordinary garments for women and children will be required.  Those intended for the wives and children of soldiers, sailors, and Territorials will be distributed with the help of the Soldiers’ and Sailors' Families Association and of the Territorial  Associations... Those garments intended for persons suffering from distress owing to unemployment should be sent to the Committees for the Prevention and Relief of Distress which are being formed by the Mayors and Provosts, and the chairmen of the county councils and larger urban district councils. ... 


(The Times, August 10th 1914)

[I don't know why it was felt necessary, this early in the war, to provide basic items of clothing for serving soldiers and sailors, such as flannel shirts, which was surely the job of the War Office.  Later appeals were for 'comforts',  additional items of clothing beyond the official provision, especially for warm winter clothing and extra socks. At this stage, many people seem to have felt an urge to do something to help, but a lot of confusion about what it should be.]     

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