Saturday, 13 September 2014

Guide to Needleworkers

From The Times, 12th September 1914. 

NEEDLEWORK HELPERS' GUIDE.

The official weekly list of requirements issued by Queen Mary's Needlework Guild, the St. John Ambulance Association, and the British Red Cross Society states that no more nightingales or helmets are required.  The following articles are needed by the societies named:—

QUEEN MARY'S NEEDLEWORK GUILD.—Dressing gowns, babies' clothing, pyjamas, towels, vests, and pants.

ST. JOHN AMBULANCE ASSOCIATION.—Cholera belts, dressing gowns, nightshirts (ordinary), slippers, and socks.

BRITISH RED CROSS SOCIETY.—Dressing gowns, pyjamas (flannel if possible), slippers, towels (face), vests, and pants.

N.B.—(a)—A sock with 11 in. foot is the size most required, but a smaller number of 10½ in. foot and 11½ in. foot are also needed.
(b)—The public are earnestly requested to adhere to standard patterns for hospital garments, as unauthorized and fancy shapes are unpractical, and lead to waste of time and material.
(c)—The public are also warned against the very dangerous practice of inserting matches in clothing of any kind.
(d)—No perishable goods of any description, such as game, fruit, &c., should be sent to 83, Pall-mall.  Any persons wishing to present such gifts should apply to the Stores Department, and a list of hospitals containing sick and wounded soldiers and sailors will be immediately forwarded.

[This was one of the weekly statements promised at the end of August (here), to co-ordinate the efforts of volunteers.  It seems to be asking a lot of the local groups - they were expected to switch their efforts instantly to match a list like this and to provide the things asked for this week.    

"No more nightingales or helmets are required".  Volunteers evidently liked making (Balaclava) helmets - the statement of weekly requirements on 31st August also said "No helmets are required at present".   Perhaps the local groups were not as compliant as they might have been. 

A nightingale was a sort of bed-jacket (invented by Florence Nightingale, allegedly).

I wonder why people had been sending matches in parcels of clothes?]   

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