Friday, 5 September 2014

With the Halifax Territorials

From The Halifax Courier, September 5th, 1914  


Our correspondent with the local Territorials writes:- On Wednesday, the Y.M.C.A. erected one of their tents here, much to the delight of the Territorials, who are quick to realise the value of a place where they can write a letter in comfort and spend a pleasant evening, singing songs or reading magazines, etc.  It might be mentioned here that those who wish to help the Territorials can do so by helping the Y.M.C.A.  We are still training strenuously, and many men are suffering with their feet.  Friday is a red-letter day here, being pay day, but this time the usual charm was taken away as most of the men had the larger portion of their money to return for various things received in the way of small kit, such as shirts, towels, socks, razors, etc., the razors bringing forth many skittish remarks.  Although grumbling is indulged in by some, to hear the men singing in their various billets at nights gives away the true state of their mind—it goes to show that whatever they are put to, they can knock a bit of happiness out of it, like a true Britisher.  The war news is followed with the very greatest of interest here and whenever a big victory, occurs for the Allies the strains of “Rule, Britannia” are sure to find their way from the lungs of the men.  All we are waiting for now is the time to move.  If it so happens that we should get to the front we can then show that the men of Halifax and district are ever ready to do their duty.

[I included this piece because of the account of the men having much of their week's money withheld to pay for kit.  They were only paid 1 shilling per day anyway, so if  'the larger portion' was stopped, they would have very little left to spend (for instance on tobacco). The items listed sound like essential kit - I don't know why they weren't provided by the War Office.  Possibly these stoppages were one reason why the provision of 'comforts' was so important.]  

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