Saturday, 20 December 2014

Newspaper Comforts Schemes

From The People’s Friend, Dundee, 19th December 1914. 

[Extracts from a much longer article on schemes set up by the papers and magazines published by John Leng & Co. of Dundee:  the “Dundee Advertiser”, the “People’s Journal”, the “People‘s Friend”, “My Weekly” and “The Happy Home”. ]



Let us first look at the programme of beneficence initiated by the “People’s Journal” – Scotland’s greatest weekly.  Under the heading of “Comforts for the Soldiers” the editor has received and despatched thousands of pairs of socks, hundreds of body belts, helmets, mufflers, shirts, gloves, mitts, cuffs, and bootlaces. ….  When donations of money came to hand wool was purchased for socks, the knitting being undertaken by readers all over the country, and by the staff of young ladies attached to the “People’s Journal”.  The packages, needless to say, were, and are, gladly welcomed, and many letters from officers speak of the goods arriving in the trenches in the nick of time, and being balloted for among the men.

The Tobacco Fund has also been an unqualified success, the sum subscribed being beyond all expectations, and as the “weed” was purchased at wholesale prices, duty free, from recognised firms, and distributed among all the Scottish regiments, it can be readily understood that the quantity forwarded had the merit both of quality and weight.  Thousands of boxes of matches have also been supplied to the troops. … A number of [tobacconists] placed boxes upon their counters bearing the request “A Fag for Tommy.”  The response of the customers has been liberal, and several tobacconists have been able by this means to supply the “People’s Journal” with many thousands of cigarettes.

Next there is the Christmas Gift Scheme.  … It was .. made possible to present each Scottish regiment in France with a huge hamper of mufflers, gloves, buns, shortbread, chocolates, candies, &c.

“People’s Friend” Excels.

Ever since the war began, the lady readers of the “People’s Friend” have been working enthusiastically for the benefit of the soldiers and sailors, their wives and families.  They have turned out some 1600 pairs of socks, 170 shirts, 750 body belts, and nearly 2000 helmets, mufflers, cuffs, gloves, mittens, &c.  Besides this, they have sent vast bales of cast-off clothing to the soldiers’ wives and children, and to the Belgian refugees all over the country.  They have also given money generously.  In quite a short time £200 was subscribed for Christmas puddings for the men at the front.  Four thousand puddings have been sent, and .. each pudding is enough for two men.  Money has also been given generously for the purchase of cigarettes and tobacco, whilst large numbers of pipes and tobacco pouches have been contributed.  

[People's Friend and My Weekly, both women's magazines, are still published from Dundee, now by D. C. Thomson & Co.] 

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