Monday, 5 January 2015

Fearnought Gloves for the Fleet

From the Glasgow Herald, 4th January 1915


“Fearnought” gloves for destroyers’ crews—These are very essential in cold weather.  Particulars, with measurements, may be obtained at 79 St George’s Road, Glasgow, where the gloves are made by women thrown out of work on account of the war.  Miss M’Callum, Glasgow Academy, has undertaken to receive subscriptions and to see that the scheme is properly carried out.

[I didn't know what Fearnought gloves were, but with a bit of search I found a couple of earlier appeals that explained it:]  

From the Manchester Evening News, October 24th 1914.

A naval officer writes:-- I have a scheme which really must be done, i.e., start a glove fund for the destroyers’ crews.  When the weather gets so cold that a glove sticks to metal they are absolutely necessary.  The men have to be always handling great lumps of metal (projectiles, wheels for working the guns and sights, &c.), and if they do not have gloves all feeling in the hand and arm is lost in a few minutes.  Shoddy gloves and fingerless mittens are absolutely useless.  The best things are gloves with all fingers in one, and long gauntlets and thick double palms.  I think 'Fearnought' gloves would be best and cheapest; hand sewn with twine or thick thread beeswaxed.  The gloves are chiefly needed for running flotillas and 2,400 pairs are required, 30 pairs for each destroyer; 800 pairs for the second flotilla alone.  I assure you the number of hits would be increased vastly.  They are needed quickly as it is getting very cold, also a few really good ones would be better than a lot of rubbishy ones.  Don’t be afraid of the clumsiness; that does not matter.  I assure you nothing would be appreciated more."

 [The material] can be obtained from Messrs. James Clay and Sons, Hollings Mills, Sowerby Bridge.

From the Dundee Courier, 7th November 1914. 

The gloves are made of "fearnought"—a specially tough flannel material much used in the navy—which is unfortunately rather expensive, and each pair roughly costs about 2s. 4d.  No other material is suitable, as nothing else has the same wear and cold resisting properties.

[The letter from the naval officer sounds very convincing, and as often with these appeals, I wonder why the Navy was not providing suitable gloves already.]   

No comments:

Post a Comment