Friday, 3 October 2014

Comforts Despatched

From the Glasgow Herald, 3rd October 1914.


Up till yesterday the  Renfrewshire Territorial Force Association and the Renfrewshire branch of the British Red Cross Society had despatched from the headquarters in Paisley the following articles for the use of combatants and wounded soldiers:-- 1169 day shirts, 5327 pairs of socks, 20 cardigans, 147 helmets, 82 mufflers, 34 pairs wristlets, 67 cholera belts, 24 blankets to Provost Robertson’s Fund; 2 consignments of articles to Mrs Bost’s Belgian Relief Fund; 822 nightshirts, 45 pyjama suits, 418 nightingales, 263 bed jackets, 287 pairs bed socks, 241 pillow slips, 353 hospital semmits, 4 dressing gowns, 108 pairs bedroom slippers, 110 hot water bottle covers, 172 towels, 6 mattresses, 6 bolsters, 6 pillows. 34 pairs blankets, 4 kit-bags (full), bandages, handkerchiefs, and magazines, etc.   

[I have seen similar lists in other newspapers;  groups all over the UK were busy making or buying the same kind of articles for men on active service and the sick and wounded - not forgetting the Belgian refugees.   And naturally the groups wanted to publicise their work through the newspapers - I'm sure they were proud of their efforts and wanted to encourage others to join in.  

 But the apparently random quantities of the various garments, makes the whole enterprise seem  unplanned.  When Lord Kitchener asks for 300,000 pairs of socks, that sounds like a plan.  But 1169 shirts, 5327 pairs of socks, 20 cardigans, etc., sounds as though lots of volunteers have been making things they fancied making, and that's the result.  What use would 20 cardigans be among a whole battalion of men?  You would think that the Territorial battalions would ask for specific quantities of items that are needed, and then the Territorial Force Association would attempt to supply those quantities, but that doesn't seem to be happening.]   

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