Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Brecon War Clothing Depot

Flashback to August and a notice in The Brecon & Radnor Express:


Sir,—At the request of Lord Glanusk [Lord Lieutenant of Breconshire] I have undertaken to organise a War Clothing Depot at Brecon to receive, store, and distribute all shirts and socks to our soldiers on active service, also hospital garments, nightshirts, bed jackets, etc.  ...

I am preparing paper patterns of shirts, night shirts, bed jackets, pants, sleeping suits, etc.  Any local committees or individuals can apply to me for them.  I am also buying wholesale large quantities of flannel, etc.  The County War Fund Committee has entrusted me with Funds for this purpose. I propose supplying materials to local committees free of cost.  I can give information and supply wool for socks and patterns for making them.  I suggest local committees should begin with making socks as the materials for other things cannot be in stock for a few days.  Hand-knitted socks are of immense use.

All garments made of materials from the depot must be returned to the depot. Red Cross Detachment hospitals will receive grants of suitable garments on mobilisation....

I hope to be able to complete all requests for materials shortly.  I shall gratefully receive into the depot any suitable garments made by persons buying their own materials.

.. — Yours truly,
Aug. 11th, 1914, Tymawr, Brecon.

[When the Territorial Force was set up in 1908, County Territorial Associations were set up at the same time, to maintain drill halls etc. and provide the Territorials with equipment.  (Information from Richard Holmes's book,Tommy).   I'm not sure whether this included uniforms, or whether it continued after the start of the war. The Lord Lieutenant of a county was president of the County Association, and Lord Glenusk seems to have felt a responsibility to provide or supplement the clothing of the local Territorial battalions.  I have not come across any similar arrangement in other counties.]

From the Brecon County Times, 17th September 1914.

Miss deWinton has sent in all to Lord Glanusk 300 khaki shirts and 200 pairs of socks and to Colonel Stuart Morgan [commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion South Wales Borderers] 250 grey shirts, and has received letters of thanks from both commanding officers.  Lord Glanusk writes: ''The Battalion are deeply grateful and I think they all appreciate what the ladies of the county are doing for us."
Colonel Morgan says: "Thank you very much for sending such a splendid present of shirts.  They are much needed, as the men have had only one shirt and many only the one they arrived in, their own, but I have had no complaints.  If you have any socks they will be very acceptable."...

From the Brecon County Times, 24th September 1914.

Miss deWinton has sent since last week 150 khaki shirts to Lord Glanusk, 200 pairs of socks to Col. Stuart Morgan, and 200 grey shirts to Col. C. S. Trower, for the 5th Battalion S.W.B. [South Wales Borderers], now in training at Tidworth.  This Battalion were in great need of flannel shirts.
Col. Trower has written the following letter of thanks :— “Will you please convey to the War Fund Committee our most grateful thanks for the generous gift of 100 shirts.  Your 100 shirts will be of the greatest use to that number of men. [Well, obviously.]  I will buy the other 100 shirts.  I feel something must be done to ensure each man having at least one shirt."
Miss deWinton thinks it will be of interest to workers and kind donors of shirts to know that 1,000 shirts have now been sent to the different Battalions of the S.W.B.

[There seems to be a mistake in this report - it says that Miss deWinton sent Col. Trower 200 shirts, but he only seems to have received 100.

From these last two report, there seems to have been a fairly desperate shortage of shirts in the Territorial battalions served by the Depot, and getting volunteers to make them doesn't seem an efficient way of providing them in large numbers, as pointed out in an earlier post here.]

The Brecon & Radnor Express, 1st October 1914.

War Clothing Depot.


Miss deWinton has now sent away 1,250 shirts and has sufficient shirts and other garments.  It is proposed to send 1,000 pairs of socks to the Queen towards the 300,000 pairs asked for by Lord Kitchener, and it is hoped all will do their best to send good thick socks suitable for marching.  These should all reach the Depot on or before October 29th.  Applications for wool must be made before October 7th as Miss deWinton will be away for two weeks from that date.  Five socks should be made from 1 lb. of wool.  Flannel for vests can be supplied for working parties. 

Miss deWinton will be at the Depot on Friday 2nd, Monday 5th.  Socks should be 14 ins. long in leg, and not less than 11 ins. in the foot.

[I think Miss deWinton should learn to delegate.  No-one else can hand out wool and flannel from the Depot, so she has to tell everyone via the newspapers when she's going away.]  

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