Sunday, 9 November 2014

Clothes for the Wounded

From The Times, 8th November, 1914



.. The {British Red Cross] society has received an immense number of offers of assistance.  There are upwards of 1,900 voluntary aid detachments, with a total personnel of some 60,000.

Many ladies have come forward anxious to serve as nurses, but it is pointed out only trained nurses can attend troops in the field.  There is, however, much good work which can be done by women who have not these qualifications.  Foremost is the provision of clothing, hospital requisites, medical comforts, and foods.

The Queen has given a splendid lead in the work of cooperation with existing societies which understand the needs of the sick and wounded in the matter of clothing. ...   Women who are forming sewing parties would be well advised to follow Queen Mary’s example and apply to the Red Cross Society for their patterns.

The foolish waste by overlapping and the absence of any necessity of forming new societies ... is one of the points emphasized by the British Red Cross authorities at Devonshire House.  Ladies who do not belong to any society should find out what is being done in their district and join or form a local class for sewing work at once.  The Primrose League for the time being is non-political, and the local branches who will provide themselves with a supply of Red Cross patterns can be joined by any woman who is anxious to help.  ...Pyjamas are most wanted and next to them dressing gowns.

Old sheets, unbleached calico, and old linen suitable for bandages are wanted, but not old clothes.  Invalid women could help by making bandages.  Offers of food, invalid delicacies, &c., ..offers of household utensils suitable for hospitals, of blankets, of beds, &c., are being listed, and gift and promises of money are, of course, most important.

Women with good recipes for economical cooking should make them public.  An Italian woman of good family, who has been living on 3s. 6d. a week since the first mention of danger, is giving recipes to her friends of new ways to cook vegetable marrows and of making nutritive pea-pod stew in use in parts of the South [of Italy] where meat is rarely seen and butter unknown for cooking purposes.

[I think the last paragraph is the best.  I like the way that we are told that she is 'of good family', i.e. she doesn't have to live on 3s. 6d. a week, but has chosen to out of patriotic duty, or because she's the sort of person who enjoys economising, and especially the opportunity to tell other people that they ought to be living on 'nutritive pea-pod stew' and vegetable marrows.]   

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