Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Comforts for the Seaforth Highlanders

From the Perthshire Advertiser, 25th November 1914. 


The Work Committee of the Seaforth Highlanders' Association, of which Mrs Pelham Burn is President, have despatched during the past two months the following comforts to the men in France:— 5000 tins of tobacco, 4500 pipes, 40,000 cigarettes, 3740 pairs of socks, 1380 shirts, 1083 pairs of mittens, 209 mufflers, 541 under-vests, 717 belts, 500 handkerchiefs, 295 helmets, 720 cardigans and jerseys, 2000 towels, and a large supply of chocolate, sweets, Butter Scotch, boric powder, vaseline, soap, notepaper, writing tablets, safety lighters, matches, and dubbin.

The following letter has been received from an officer acknowledging the gifts sent:—"Consignments of pipes, tobacco, socks with presents have arrived lately but we have been so busy fighting that I fear it is impossible to have let you know of each consignment as it has arrived, but from the number I think all must have come.  I cannot tell you how deeply grateful the men are for these comforts and for the knowledge that those at home are thinking of them; on behalf of them all I beg to thank you and all the workers who have so generously contributed and worked their thoughts and well wishes for us all so labouriously with their knitting and sewing needles.--Yours, etc. (Signed) E. CAMPION for O.C. 2nd Seaforths.

Mrs Pelham Burn is very grateful to the many friends who have already so generously sent her donations in cash and quantities of clothing, but the number of men who must be provided for is so large that further comforts are required to enable the men to face the severity of a Continental winter under service conditions.

Parcels and remittances should be addressed to her at the Seaforth Highlanders' Association Club, 12 Albany Street, Edinburgh.

[The numbers here are an interesting indication of the volume of 'comforts' that a single regiment could easily consume.

The 1st Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders was in India at the start of the war, and arrived in the south of France early in October, while the 2nd Battalion had been in France since late August.  (Information from here.)  Presumably, Mrs. Pelham Burn was by November attempting to supply both Battalions with additional comforts when the War Office issue was insufficient.   The two Battalions together would have consisted of approximately 2,000 men at the start of the war.  Equipping them for the winter must have been a daunting task - and several more Battalions had already been formed and were in training.] 

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