Saturday, 28 February 2015

Hall's Wine for Influenza

From the Halifax Courier, 27th February 1915.


Hall's Wine NOW

With Influenza raging, there is greater need than ever to 'keep up' your bodily powers with Hall's Wine.
Besides being the best safeguard against attack, Hall's Wine is the surest and safest restorer of health after attack.

A doctor writes: "After Influenza, the tonic and restorative powers of Hall's Wine are marvellous;" and another doctor declares: "In cases of neurasthenic debility following Influenza, Hall's Wine works wonders."  Thousands of doctors are prescribing Hall's Wine daily.  

Friday, 27 February 2015

At A Mobile Army Hospital

From the Halifax Courier, 27th February 1915. 



Sister Fox (daughter of Mr. C.J. Fox, Trimmingham Villas), who is in Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Servicer, is home on six days’, leave from “somewhere in France.”  She left Halifax on August 20 for mobilisation in Dublin, and shortly afterwards went to France.  She left duty on Monday, arriving home on Tuesday, and she returns on Sunday.  During winter the weather, similar to here, has been awfully wet, but happily Sister Fox has had good health all the time.  She has been on duty in a mobile British Army hospital, and the nurses here are all British.  All wounded who have passed through the hospital where she is located have been British, including contingents of Indians.  The men stay at the mobile hospitals two or three days, where their injuries receive attention, and then they are entrained either for the base hospital or for the boats to be brought to England.

 Sister Fox speaks in terms of the highest praise of the soldiers.  “They are,” she says, “simply wonderful in their cheerfulness, and are splendid to nurse.  You never hear them grumble, but all are anxious to be quickly better are to resume their duties.  They never seem to tire of the old cry, ‘Are we down-hearted?’ and then through the hospital comes the response ‘No.’  In the early stages of the war the men were in a bad condition, through lack of clothing and they came in fearfully tired thorough long duty in the trenches.  These things have now been improved, and everything is much better.  With the reduced hours in the trenches the men are not as tired when they come in, and you couldn’t have anyone better to nurse.  The British Tommies are a happy and contented lot.”

Though convoys from the trenches arrive every two or three days, Sister Fox, strangely, has not in all the months come across a Halifax man, though she has made inquiries from every contingent.  When the men are not seriously injured, instead of being sent to the base hospital or to England, they go to convalescent camps in France.

Sister Fox desires, through us, to express thanks to many friends who have kindly forwarded gifts to her for the soldiers.  Every gift thus received has been promptly given by her to men in need – usually to those who have been going to convalescent camps and have thus had no chance of coming home for comforts.  The recipients have been glad to have them, and have expressed appreciation of the kindness of their unknown friends.  During the severe winter, woollen goods have been particularly welcome, and indeed, all the things sent have been extremely useful.  “I don’t know what we should have done, if we had not had all these gifts sent,” added Sister Fox, who was kind enough to suggest that the majority were due to the publicity given by the “Courier,” which some months ago quoted extracts from a letter sent home by her, in which she stated the need of the men, little expecting there would be such a quick and splendid response.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Knitted Helmets for Soldiers

From the North Wales Chronicle, 26th February 1915.



(To the Editor).
Sir,—I should be so much obliged if you would, by inserting this letter, help me to make known that knitted helmets are one of the most urgently-needed "comforts" for soldiers at the front or going there.  Comparatively few knitters make them or have the best and simplest receipt, so I venture to append it.  These helmets are very easy to make, use up very little wool, and are almost impossible to buy ready-made.

May I take this opportunity of offering my most grateful thanks to all the kind senders of very generous gifts of various warm comforts, all of which have been most welcome and useful.  I hope they will be so good as to go on sending me more whenever they can, to the same address, 1, Hereford Gardens. London, W.

A full list of the contributions sent to me and to the other ladies in North Wales who collect for the 3rd Battalion R.W.F. and the Denbighshire Yeomanry will, I hope, be published shortly in the papers.—I remain, sir, with many thanks, yours faithfully,

February 24th.


Five needles, sizes 10; two skeins of any wool (of suitable colour), such as is used for mufflers.  Cast on 90 loosely.  Knit round in rib 3 plain 3 purl for four inches. Leave 21 stitches on fifth needle, and knit the remaining stitches backwards and forwards plain for 80 rows.  Take care to knit the first and last stitch of each row; do not slip it.  Divide on 3 needles with 21 on centre needle and 24 on each of the 2 side needles.  Knit the 21 backwards and forwards, and at the end of each row knit the last stitch together, with the nearest stitch on the outside needle.  Do this till all the 24 stitches have been taken off the two outside needles, and only 21 on the centre needle remain.  Pick up all the stitches round the face and knit in rib of 3 and 3 for about two inches.  Cast off.

[Alice Douglas Pennant had written to the same paper in October 1914, giving a pattern for knitted body belts, for the Queen's appeal.  (See here.)   I am not sure whether she had any official connection with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (R.W.F.) or the Denbighshire Yeomanry, or whether they had specifically asked for helmets.  

Shops selling knitted goods often included helmets in their advertising, so I think that, in spite of what the writer says, in many places it was possible to buy helmets ready-made.]   

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Brecon War Clothing Depot Revisited

From the Brecon & Radnor Express, 25th February 1915.

War Clothing Depot.

Miss de Winton has received letters re socks, one from Lord Glanusk at Aden, saying "Nearly all our socks are worn out, and the only ones we can get are rotten little merino thin things, which are no use for marching. Everything here is nearly double the price it is in India, and prices are going up." This speaks for itself of the need of socks, and Miss de Winton hopes wives and mothers will send out socks on their own by post and knit for the depot.

Letter No. 2 is from Quarter-Master-Sergeant Weaver Price, Motor Machine Service at Bisley, sending grateful thanks for 50 pairs of Welsh wool socks.  “We are loud in the praises of the socks.  It is quite impossible to buy anything approaching the serviceableness of the hand-made article.”  Miss de Winton has wool in stock, and wants 400 pairs of socks knitted every month.

[Lord Glanusk was Lord Lieutenant of Breconshire, and also commanded a battalion of the South Wales Borderers, which had arrived in Aden late in 1914.   It's interesting that merino socks were viewed as no use at all.  Of course, modern sock yarns often contain nylon and so wear well even if the wool content is merino.  

Miss de Winton has been writing regularly to the Brecon local newspapers, most recently here, asking for (or demanding) various items.  The wool offered to knitters was provided by the Breconshire War Fund, which had set up the War Clothing Depot at the start of the war. ] 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Alien Peril

From the Brecon County Times, 25th February 1915.


Formation of Women's Union to Fight Alien Peril.
Lady Glanusk has now carried the movement she began a fortnight ago in reference to the alien peril into the practical form of a strong union.  Her ladyship presided over a meeting held at her London residence on Friday, when it was decided to form a women's organisation to conduct a national campaign in order to press on the attention of the Government the feeling that exists with regard to the alien peril.

Among those present were the Duchess of Wellington, the Marchioness of Sligo, the Countess of Lanesborough, Viscountess Combermere, Viscountess Cobham, the Hon. Mrs W. Cavendish, Lady Mansfield-Clarke, Lady Massie-Blomfield, Lady (Owen) Philipps, Lady (Howard) Vincent, Mrs Cuninghame of Craigends, Mrs Philip Ashworth, Mrs Clive, Mrs Harold Baring, and Mrs Beckwith-Smith.

Lady Glanusk explained briefly that she had asked them to be present to consider what the women of England could do to urge the alien enemy peril on the Government.  "Women are the greatest sufferers from the war," she continued. "We have let our menkind go to fight for the country, and many of us will suffer losses which can never be made good.  Our right to protest is beyond question.  We must, of course, move carefully, and consider what steps are the best to bring about a remedy for this grave danger."

On the proposition of the Duchess of Wellington, seconded by Lady Sligo, a form of petition was unanimously approved, the text of which will be announced shortly.

The Duchess of Wellington consented to act as president of the new organisation, and Lady Glanusk was elected chairwoman.

A general committee was then formed, all the ladies whose names appear above expressing their willingness to serve. The following additional names were added, on the suggestion of Lady Glanusk and others, the ladies indicated having intimated their consent:—The Duchess of Sutherland, the Duchess of Beaufort, Countess Bathurst, and Lady Cowans.

The committee took authority to add to their numbers, and the suggestion was made and generally approved, that not only London and the great provincial centres but all country districts should be represented.  The details of the organisation were left to the committee, it being understood that a meeting would be called at an early date.

[I have no idea what this is about.  By 'the alien peril' they may possibly mean Germans living in Britain, but I don't know why aren't clearer about what they are worrying about.  

Lady Glanusk's meeting was reported in Brecon because her husband was the Lord Lieutenant of Breconshire.]      

Monday, 23 February 2015

TIZ for Sore Feet

 From The Cambria Daily Leader, 23rd February 1915.

"TIZ" for Sore, Tired Feet—Ah!
"Such a Relief!  How my sore, puffed-up, perspiring feet ached for TIZ."
"Pull, Johnny, Pull."

Ah! what relief. No more tired feet; no more burning feet; no more swollen, perspiring feet. No more soreness in corns, hard skin, bunions.
No matter what ails your feet or what under the sun you've tried without getting relief, just use TIZ. TIZ is the only remedy that draws out all the poisonous exudations which puff up the feet.  TIZ cures your foot trouble so that you'll never limp or draw up your face in pain. Your shoes won't seem tight and your feet will never, never hurt or get sore and swollen.  Think of it, no more foot misery, no more agony from corns, hard skin, or bunions.
Get a 1/1½  box at any chemist's or stores and get instant relief.  Wear smaller shoes. Just once try TIZ.  Get a whole year's foot comfort for only 1/1½.  Think of it.

[TIZ was obviously some sort of miracle potion..,.

1/1½ means 1 shilling and 1½ pence   - two hours' pay for many women.  (See my note on prices and currency for more information.] 

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Knitted Gauntlet Mittens

From Woman’s Own, 20th February 1915.

Knitted Gauntlet Mittens

For the Men in the Trenches

These mittens are the correct pattern to be worked for the men at the front, as being so large they can be drawn over the sleeve of the tunic, and thus give additional warmth.
Four No. 12 steel knitting needles; and J. & J. Baldwin's Scotch fingering, khaki colour.
Cast on 84 stitches.
1st row : * k. 2, p. 2 ; repeat all round.
Repeat the 1st row 59 times, or until the work measures 6 inches.
K. 8 rows.
69th row : * k. 14, k. 2 together; repeat from * 4 times, k. to end of round.
K. 3 rows.
73rd row : * k. 13, k. 2 together; repeat from * 4 times, k. remaining sts. of this round.
K. 10 rounds.
84th row : * k. 15, k. 2 together; repeat from * 3 times, k. to end.
K. 3 rounds.
88th row: * k. 14, k. 2 together; repeat from * 3 times, k. 1.
K. 12 rounds without decreasing.
101st row : k. 10, p. 1, k. 1 in front and back of the next st., p. 1, k. to end of the round. The thumb is commenced in this row.
102nd row : K. 10, p. 1, k. 2, p. 1, k. to end of round.
103rd row : K. 10, p. 1. Increase 2 by k. in front and back of the next 2 sts., p. 1, k. to end of round.
104th row : K. 10, p. 1, k. 4, p. 1, k. to end.
105th row : K. 10, p. 1. Increase 1 by k. in front and back of the next st., k. 2. Increase 1 as before in the next st., p. 1, k. to end.
106th row : K. 10, p. 1, k. 6, p. 1, k. to end of round.
107th row : K. 10, p. 1.  Increase 1 as before, k. 4.   Increase 1, p. 1, k. to end.
108th row : K. 10, p. 1, k. 8, p. 1, k. to end.
Repeat the last 2 rows, only with 2 extra stitches, to be knitted between the 2 purled sts. until there are 22 k. sts. between p. st., then put these 22 sts. on a piece of wool and leave them for the present.
K. to end of the round.
K. 7 plain rounds on remaining st.
For the ribbing at the top part of the hand, * k. 2 and p. 2; repeat from * to end of the round.  Repeat the last round 15 times, cast off, put the thumb loops on needles, pick up 4 sts. between the loops of hand part, k. 4 rounds on the 26 sts. Finish by k. 2, p. 2, for 12 rounds, and cast off.

[This was the third knitting pattern for some version of mitten published by Woman's Own in less than a month, following the patterns for steering gloves for trawlermen  in January and steering gloves for soldiers earlier in February.  This pattern is much more detailed and easier to follow than the previous one. Perhaps it was written by one of the Baldwin's designers]    

Friday, 20 February 2015

Training Girls to Make Shirts

From the Aberdeen Journal, 20th February 1915.


One of the most practical of the schemes carried on under the Queen's “Work for Women” Fund is the workroom for the training of shirt machinists, which was opened last month at 11 Spoutmouth, Glasgow.  Skilled shirt machinists are always in demand, and never more so than at the present time, when employers are too busy with large contracts to afford the necessary time or machines for the training of workers.  As this line of work, therefore, seemed to offer an exceptionally favourable opportunity for unemployed women and girls, with the prospect of quickly rendering them self-supporting again, a training workroom was organised through the efforts of the Glasgow Sub-Committee on Women's Employment, the scheme being approved by the Scottish Committee on Women's Employment, and financed by a grant from the Queen's “Work for Women” Fund.  Twenty-eight girls are now occupied in shirt machining and also in making shirts, the material used consisting for the most part of bale-ends of shirting presented by local manufacturers.  The girls who are being trained have come from all kinds of previous occupations.  A few girls are receiving training in cooking, marketing, and domestic economy.  The fact that after only a month’s training a number of girls have found good situations with shirtmaking firms shows the practical utility of the machinists’ training scheme in meeting an existing demand.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

From Court Gowns to Sock Knitting

From the Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 19th February 1915.

From Court Gowns to Sock Knitting.

Just before the winter social season should have commenced I spoke of the distress amongst Court dressmakers in London.  All sorts of odd work has been given them from time to time.  Now they have begun to knit socks for the army.  It is big jump from sewing delicate trimmings on Court gowns to knitting socks, but the women are learning to handle the machines with considerable alacrity.  The Queen’s Work for Women Fund has secured an order for two million pairs of socks, and the work is being handed over to the workrooms of the West End costumiers.  This will keep 1200 dressmakers in constant employment right up to July.  Those who are not sock knitting are shirt-making.  Here, too, there was some difficulty at first experienced by the women in becoming accustomed to the new class of work.  They have 10,000 army shirts on hand at the moment.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Miss Beatrice Sinclair, The English Venus

From The Illustrated London News, 13th February 1915.


The English Venus


THE best authorities on toilet matters unite with the leaders of Society in acknowledging the supreme excellence and novelty of Ven-Yusa Creme de Luxe.

Read what Miss Beatrice Sinclair, known to fame as The English Venus, and well-known writer on beauty and toilet subjects, has to say about Ven-Yusa after critically examining it and comparing its wonderful qualities with the limitations and drawbacks she has experienced with old-style face creams.

41, Seymour Place, Marble Arch, W.
Gentlemen,—You may be interested to hear that I am using your Ven-Yusa Creme de Luxe in preference to all others.  I suppose it is the fact that it is charged with life-giving oxygen that makes Ven-Yusa impart a delightful young feeling to the skin such as I have never experienced before.
By its systematic use the skin texture is rendered peach-like in quality, and a natural beauty of complexion developed.

I also find Ven-Yusa far superior to the old-style face creams, in that it leaves no suspicion of stickiness or greasiness.

Ven-Yusa is evidently free from mineral salts such as alum, that gives a drawing sensation immediately it is applied, which means, of course, that the skin is being stretched and injured, as reaction is bound to set in.

Indeed, this greaseless Ven-Yusa must be most beautifully refined in order to have the singularly agreeable influence it does have on the skin.  It is
most invigorating and delicious, and I think it should form part of every lady's daily toilet.  I have had a fair experience of face creams of all sorts, and in my judgment Ven-Yusa is the perfect skin dressing at last.
Yours, etc.,
Beatrice Sinclair (The English Venus)

The novelty about Ven-Yusa is that it brings direct to the dressing-room and boudoir the rejuvenating and complexion-clearing properties of pure oxygen.  Ven-Yusa thus has an unparalleled beautifying effect on the skin.

Ven-Yusa is prepared from far purer ingredients and by costlier methods than obtain in the production of the old-style toilet creams.  Ven-Yusa is the acme of refinement and novelty, and is based on an intimate study of the human skin.
Ven-Yusa is non-greasy.

[Beatrice Sinclair was called 'The English Venus' because it had been decided that her proportions were exactly the same as those of the Venus de Milo.   The ad for Pears soap below explains it:]

From The Illustrated London News, 13th May 1913.

Some Observations on Venuses, Ancient and Modern

Artists and Connoisseurs the world over maintain that in two or three of the sculptured Venuses of the classic days of Greece and Rome we have represented “the female form divine” in its most perfect shape and symmetry.  We have the Venus of the Capitol at Rome, the Florentine Venus at Florence, and the Venus of Milo in the Louvre at Paris.
The latter is perhaps generally accepted as the finest embodiment extant of the classic Grecian female human figure; and an impression prevails that the world no longer owns living specimens of feminine loveliness that can compare with the Venus of Milo.
Whether or not recent fashions in dress are responsible for drawing close attention to woman’s form or not, it is not for us to say; but it has been very clearly demonstrated that the beauty of the famous sculptured Venuses is still being equalled, if not even surpassed.
And to prove that this is no rash statement we are able to give an instance in support, showing that the measurements of an English lady, Miss Beatrice Sinclair, are so nearly the proportional measurements of the Venus de Milo that the comparative figures here given cannot fail to interest the readers of this journal.
We are indebted to the courtesy of Miss Sinclair for the photograph her reproduced of her. It is a compliment to us that this English Venus is among the users of Pears’ Soap, which has so prominently allied with beauty for a century and a quarter.  The statue did not have that advantage.

So Many Beautiful Women have borne tribute to the beautifying effect of Pears that we are delighted to reciprocate with this public tribute to a living example of British beauty.

A & F Pears

[The entire text of the Pears ad is hand-written. The accompanying photos show the Venus de Milo and Beatrice Sinclair in identical poses (mostly back view).  Miss Sinclair’s lower half is draped in a sheet, and her arms have been painted out of the photo, to match the statue.

There is a table of measurements of the Venus and Miss Sinclair – the measurements of Venus have been scaled to Miss Sinclair’s height (5ft. 4in), I think.  They are mostly identical: e.g. bust 37in., waist 25 in. (26 in for Venus), hips 38 in.  The rest of the table includes measurements for thigh, calf, ankle, knee, upper arm, fore arm, wrist (as well as head and neck). although I have no idea how the leg measurements of the Venus de Milo were taken under all that marble - and measuring her fore-arms and wrists when they are not there must have been even more tricky.]   

Monday, 16 February 2015

Girls Leave For Australia

From The Labour Voice (Llais Llafur), 15th February 1915. 


A merry party of about 120 girls who have been thrown out of work by the war left London on Saturday for Australia, where they are to try their fortune as domestic servants.  They represent the first contingent of young women selected by the Queen's Work for Women Fund for emigration.   Each of the girls has received a complete outfit from the Queen's Fund, and, in addition, £1 towards her fare and £1 landing money.  The fare is £3 for every girl, and each emigrant is required to repay £2 from her wages to the State in which settles.

[It seems odd that girls were being shipped to Australia, as the best way of finding employment for them, when the shortage of men (who had volunteered in such large numbers) was beginning to create a demand for women as an alternative source of workers.  And later in the war, if not now, domestic service was increasingly unpopular because there were so many other opportunities, paying more and with better working conditions.] 

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Dressmakers Switch to Lifejackets

From The Times, 15th February, 1915. 



The German threat to sink, without warning, every British merchant vessel, on and after Thursday next, gives an added interest to devices for saving life at sea.  At least three varieties of garments designed for this purpose—Gieve’s waistcoat, the Boddy jacket, and the Miranda waistcoat—have been tested and adopted by the Admiralty, and there is evidence that some of the survivors of the Formidable owe their lives to one or other of these devices.

Recently large contracts for Miranda waistcoats have been given by the Admiralty to three of the leading London drapers.  Messrs. Peter Robinson (Limited) have received an order for some thousands, and at their factory in Little Portland-street the waistcoats are now being turned out at the rate of about a thousand a week.  About 200 girls who in normal times would be engaged in making mantles and dresses are employed upon the work.

The Miranda waistcoat, as made for the Admiralty, is of blue dungaree lined with holland, and derives its buoyancy from a quilted padding of kapok. This, it may be explained, is a soft, silky, elastic fibre found in the fruit pods of Eriodendum anfractuosum, the silk cotton tree.  For a long time the flossy kapok was used for stuffing cushions and upholstery, for which purpose its elasticity made it specially suitable.  Of late years, however, its extreme buoyancy has brought it into use for life-belts and similar apparatus.

Exactly 1lb. of kapok is used in each waistcoat, all except 2oz. being in the front and the mass being so distributed that the greater portion covers the upper part of the chest.  By this means, whether the wearer be conscious or not, and whether he fall into the water head foremost or otherwise, his face is brought above the surface.  The total weight of the waistcoat is about 2lb. 6oz. 

[Don't you love it that The Times tells us the botanical name of the tree that produces kapok?]

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Women Patrols at Military Centres

From the Glasgow Herald, 13th February 1915. 


Mrs  Hartwell, who has been appointed organiser for Scotland of a movement for the provision of women patrols at military stations, addressed a meeting of the Women's Educational Union, held in the rooms of the Royal Philosophical Society, 207 Bath Street, Glasgow, last night.   Miss A. Stuart Paterson, LL.A., president, occupied the chair, and there was a good attendance.

Mrs Hartwell explained that the movement originated in England at the instance of the National Union of Women Workers, in consequence of reports which were current in August regarding the behaviour of soldiers and girls in the vicinity of military camps, etc.  The Home Secretary had been consulted by those interested in the movement, and he approved of the intention of the patrols, which was not that of rescue work, nor even of prevention, but rather of guiding in a friendly way any girls who were found to be idling away their time at such places and thus possibly exposing themselves to harmful influences.  Chief constables in the various districts where the military were in training were instructed to authorise the proposed patrols, and already there are between 600 and 900 of these in about 40 different localities in England.  There are 26 organisers of the movement, one being located in Ireland, one in Scotland, and one at Jersey and Guernsey.  It is hoped to enlist the services of 25 patrols for Glasgow district.  The women required for patrol work are those who are friendly disposed toward girls and who would be able to suggest useful occupations for them.

The meeting was also addressed by Miss Ann Macbeth, who delivered a lecture on the subject of “Inventive Crafts in the School.”

[I like the way this report skirts around the topic of concern, i.e. sex, without coming within a mile of actually mentioning it.  Also that women who could suggest alternative useful occupations might have any effect.

The lecture on 'Inventive Crafts' sounds intriguing.] 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Scotland’s Champion Knitter

From the Denbighshire Free Press, 13th February 1915.


Scotland's Champion Knitter Has His Eczema Cured by Zam-Buk.

Mr. William Beattie, the Champion Knitter of Scotland, has been completely cured of 50 years' eczema by Zam-Buk.  Mr. Beattie, who has passed his 87th birthday, has had a remarkable career, but it is as a skilful knitter and worker for soldiers in this time of War that he is best known.  Mr. Beattie is the proud possessor of letters in recognition of his skill from the Queen, Prince of Wales, General French, and the late Lord Roberts.

Mr. Beattie, who is an Elder of the Cratton Road U.F. Church, Glasgow, said to a "Glasgow News'' representative:—
“I had had more or less trouble with my skin for 50 years, the earliest symptom being a scab on my face which got bigger and bigger, and latterly spread in an alarming manner.  My case shows the wisdom of not neglecting this sort of thing, for I cannot tell you all the sufferings I endured.  The irritation sometimes was very severe, the disfigurement caused me real distress.
I tried several doctors and ordinary ointments in vain.  I found Zam-Buk, however, was not an ordinary ointment but a healing and curative agent of remarkable power.  I had often heard of its success with other people, but at my age did not think anything could be of any good to me.  Still, I resolved to put Zam-Buk to the test.
“With the first dressing the irritation was greatly lessened, and one morning, after further Zam-Buk treatment, I was agreeably surprised to find it completely gone.  It has never returned.  Now, my skin is as clear as anybody could wish for, and remarkably healthy for one at my time of life. All this I have Zam-Buk to thank for.”
Zam-Buk is not only indispensable for use in the home and at work, but, like Mr. Beattie, it also brings comfort to our soldiers in France, who find it the best healer for their cuts, bruises, and sore feet.  Get Zam-Buk for your own home use and also send a box to your soldier friend.

[I have not been able to find out anything more about William Beattie, and how he came to be Scotland's Champion Knitter. I'd be very interested to know.

An earlier ad for Zam-Buk is here.] 

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Knitted Steering Gloves for Our Soldiers

From Woman's Own, 13th February 1915.

Knitted Steering Gloves for Our Soldiers

REQUIRED: Five ounces of Beehive double knitting wool and Nos. 10 and 12 needles. Cast on No. 10 needles 84 stitches (28 on each of 3 needles), knit 2 plain and 2 purl for 5 inches, then purl 2 together every 3rd row until all 2 purl is 1 purl.  Knit on to No. 12 needles now for 2 inches, then begin hand.  Knit plain all round to 4 stitches off end of 3rd needle.  Here keep the 2 knit with 1 purl each side for thumb.  Knit 3 or 4 rounds, then make 1 stitch on 1 of these plain stitches, knit 2 more rounds, and raise 2 stitches every 3rd round until there are 17 stitches between the purl stitches.  Knit the 17 stitches on to 3 needles, and make 7 more stitches.  Knit this round for thumb in centre of the 7 stitches cast on.  Knit 2 together every 3rd row, then knit 2 together on each needle until 9 stitches remain.  Break off wool, leaving about 5 inches, then thread through a darning needle, and run needle through all 9 stitches; pull up tightly, and cast off.  Now knit about 2 inches of hand part, and cast off same as a toe of a stocking until 22 stitches remain.  These draw together on wrong side, and cast off firmly.

[I think "steering gloves" here is used as another word for this kind of mitten, with a 'bag' covering the fingers.  It has nothing to do with steering anything.  In January 1915, Woman's Own had already published a pattern for steering gloves for trawler men  (given here).  Those were different in not having a gauntlet to go over the sleeve, and were in a thicker yarn.   

These instructions are a strange mixture of very detailed e.g. "Break off wool, leaving about 5 inches, then thread through a darning needle, and run needle through all 9 stitches; pull up tightly, and cast off" and very terse, e.g. "knit about 2 inches of hand part, and cast off same as a toe of a stocking until 22 stitches remain", which does not mention that you need to pick up the 7 new stitches at the base of the thumb, and in any case only makes sense if you know how to knit socks.  And there are bits that I can't understand at all: I don't know what "purl 2 together every 3rd row until all 2 purl is 1 purl", though it might mean "(knit 2, purl 2 together), and repeat to end of round".  But if so, it's a very strange way to express it.]   

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Old Sweaters Dyed For The Troops

From the Manchester Courier, 11th February 1915. 


To the Editor of the "Manchester Courier."

Sir.—I undertake to dye khaki any sweaters sent me for the troops and to forward them to the proper quarter.  I have already distributed thus 11,400 sent me from all parts of the world.  Government, so far as my knowledge of camps and regiments goes, does the men splendidly but the ramifications of our services are such that there must inevitably be accidents, delays and shortages.

When sweaters are not to be had I can make good use of ladies' golf coats—any colour and form except the very short and much shaped type.  Out of a lady's golf coat I can make a khaki vest, a muffler and mitts ad lib., according to length, while I can turn cloth capes and fur cloaks into good thick waistcoats.  I hasten to add that I do not myself perform these miracles: they make a little work for a few poor women.—Yours, etc.
8. King's Bench Walk, Inner Temple. E.C., February 8th 

[This is the latest letter from John Penoyre asking for old sweaters and golf coats to be dyed khaki - an earlier appeal is here.   But perhaps he had been asked to explain what use he could make of ladies' golf coats.  Just before the war, sports coats for women had become popular.  They were either machine or hand-knitted, and made like a long cardigan; below is an ad for two of the machine-knitted variety, from March 1914.  I imagine this is the kind of coat he is asking for.] 


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Gloves and Mittens Fund

From the Brecon & Radnor Express, 11th February, 1915.


Once again I urge upon the public the claim of the gloves and mittens fund for the men of the British Army in France and Flanders.  We all know how bravely they have fought, and with what good humour they have endured hardships and privations.  Living, fighting, marching, under the open sky by day and night, they are exposed to the bitterly piercing winds, the driving rain, the frosts and snows, and these weather conditions are not likely to improve for some time to come.  To quote a letter I have received, "it is terrible to think of our soldiers handling icy-cold rifles with freezing fingers."  The gloves and mittens fund which I started to carry out, the suggestion of my daughters, has sent 350,000 pairs of those useful articles to the front, but its good work (which has earned the approval of His Majesty, as also of Earl Kitchener and the Army Council) is seriously hampered for lack of support.  I asked for £25,000 last October, and, up to now, £13,000 has been subscribed.  The £12,000 still required would be given in a week—nay, in a day—did every reader of this letter realise how much the military efficiency and the health of the troops depend on their hands and wrists being kept warm.  I appeal, therefore, to the public for this £12,000 to enable the full supply of 500,000 pairs to be sent out without further delay.  Contributions sent to me at this address (cheques to be crossed Parr's Bank, Cavendish Square) will be personally acknowledged.—Yours, etc.

39, Portland Place, W.

[The previous fund-raising effort for the Grand Duke's gloves and mittens fund was reported here.

Unlike other appeals for comforts for the troops, this one is just for money - most of the others ask primarily for the comforts to be made (sewn or knitted), and as an afterthought say something like  "or money to buy them".   Perhaps that is why this appeal was less successful - or maybe other people wondered, as I do, "Why is a Russian Grand Duke living in London and asking for comforts for the British Army?"]

Monday, 9 February 2015

Knitted Comforts for Men on Land and Sea

From Woman's Own, 13th February 1915.

The leaflet advertised is this one:

Baldwin's Beehive Knitting Booklet no. 17

Friday, 6 February 2015

Comforts for Employees in the Army

From the Evening Despatch (Birmingham), 6th February 1915.


The Army Fund opened at the works of Messrs. Chamberlain and Hookham, New Bartholomew-street, Birmingham, has been a great success.

Presiding at a meeting of employees to receive the report for the first quarter, Mr. Craythorn said the scheme “had united us as we have never been united before.”  The sum of £34 16s. 10d. collected during the quarter was devoted to the purchase of 18,000 cigarettes, 10lb. of tobacco, 40lb. of chocolate, 62lb. of wool, a mouth organ, 24 cigarette lighters, two electric torches, one set of boxing gloves, and 1lb. of candles, all for the use and benefit of employees serving at the front or preparing to go to the war.  The wool was made up into 240 articles, including Balaclava caps, mittens, socks, scarves, and body belts, all knitted by the girls employed by the firm.  All the parcels sent to the front were delivered safely and in good condition.

[In many companies there may have been schemes like this one, to provide comforts for men who were still considered to be employees, even though they were serving in the Army.  The comforts sent out were probably much like those sent by families to husbands and sons, though on a larger scale, and I imagine that many of the items had been asked for specifically.  (You would hardly buy and send a pair of boxing gloves just in case someone wanted them, surely?)     

Chamberlain & Hookham were a firm of electrical engineers and meter makers.  For instance, in 1908, the company had won the contract to supply Dundee Town Council with electricity meters.  They advertised in September 1915 for a glassblower “used to chemical apparatus and sealing in electrodes.”

The Chamberlain in the company name was Arthur Chamberlain, who had died in 1913.  He was the brother of Joseph Chamberlain, the Birmingham industrialist and politician, and so the uncle of Neville Chamberlain.]

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Distress In The Outer Isles.

From the Glasgow Herald, 4th February 1915.



The relief work organised in connection with the West Coast Mission of Scotland for the benefit of the fisher girls in the Outer Isles was described at the fifty-ninth annual meeting of the mission, held in the Christian Institute, Glasgow, yesterday. ...

The work carried on included mission work, district nursing, the distribution of Gospel literature and clothing.  It was mentioned that over 5000 men from the Outer Hebrides had responded to the nation's call and joined the Army or Navy since the war began.  The fishing industry was almost a failure up to the time of mobilisation, when nearly every able-bodied man left his work to serve in the Naval Reserve or the land forces.

A serious situation also resulted from the suspension of the fishing industry owing to the war. Several thousands of fisher girls from the Highlands and Islands are engaged in the shore work connected with the fishing industry.  These women enter into contracts with the owners, and leave their homes in March for the early fishing in the Minch and at Castlebay.  From June to August they work at Lerwick, Wick, Fraserburgh, Peterhead, and Aberdeen, and then proceed to Yarmouth and Lowestoft, where they remain until November.  They return home in December.  Owing to the war they had to return home almost penniless, some of their employers having become bankrupt.  Many of the aged parents were dependent upon the earnings of their daughters. The provision of relief to these people became an urgent necessity.  As no assistance was then procurable from any other source the mission had to provide temporary relief to meet the urgent cases of distress.  Through the kindness of friends the mission had distributed nearly 7000 cuts of wool, and it had been able to keep some of the girls employed in knitting socks, body-belts, helmets, etc.  These knitted articles were gifted to Scottish and Highland regiments of soldiers on active service, also to the Naval Reserve men.  The Stobhill Military Hospital and the Red Cross Society also got a share of the gifts.  In that work the good effect was thus of a two-fold nature – by helping needy families and providing comforts for the forces.  More of such relief work could be undertaken if there were funds at the disposal of the mission.

[Earlier mentions of schemes to provide knitting work for the fisher girls appear here and here

A cut was a quantity of yarn - according to an edition of Woolcraft published in the early 1920s, it was two skeins.]  

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The Need for Comforts

From the Glasgow Herald, 4th February 1915. 


The Navy Well Supplied.—Lady Jellicoe asks us to state that any of His Majesty's ships still requiring blankets should apply to her at 29 Sussex Square, Hyde Park. London, W., stating the numbers required and, if possible, the base where to send them.  Her Ladyship points out that Admiral Jellicoe and other Admirals afloat have written to the effect that owing to the great generosity of the public all ships that they know of are well supplied with winter comforts and blankets, and that they have an ample supply for the time being.  Lady Jellicoe wishes this information to be made known to the public, to prevent further appeals for blankets, etc.  She has a large reserve of funds and blankets, and ships need only apply to her and their demands will receive immediate attention.

A Glasgow Appeal.—Professor Robert S. Rait, 31 Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow, has issued an appeal for comforts for a number of men who are going to the front, and who, as they do not belong: to any of the regular units of the Army, have no organisation to collect for them the gifts which are being so generously sent to their comrades.  The men to whom he refers are soon to be sent out with some naval guns, and a near relative of his who is going with them has asked him to make an appeal for socks, mufflers, and mittens.  The mufflers and mittens should be khaki-coloured.

[These two pieces appearing consecutively demonstrate the results of unco-ordinated appeals for comforts of various kinds.  While Lady Jellicoe is saying "Please don't send any more", other groups of men are having to rely solely on what the War Office provides - evidently felt to be inadequate.]  

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies

From the Brecon County Times, 4th February 1915.


National Union W.S.S. Meeting at Brecon. 

On Thursday night a fairly well attended public meeting was held at the Town Hall, Brecon, under the auspices of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, with the object of setting forth the work which the Union is carrying on during the war. ....

The purpose of their gathering was chiefly to collect money for hospital work, which was run by the Union in France, and that was a very worthy object.  Women could not take their place in the fighting line, and therefore they were trying to make up for it by collecting money to maintain hospitals for the wounded at the Front.  They were endeavouring to alleviate the sufferings of our gallant soldiers as much as possible. (Applause.) Unfortunately, only a small number of women were sufficiently qualified to take posts as nurses, and she was far from being in favour of unqualified nurses rushing out to the Front from the mere excitement of the thing. (Hear, hear.)  In the case of those who were not qualified to go out as nurses, but were anxious to give personal service, the Union tried to train them to become efficient nurses.  Others could help by assisting the wives and dependants of soldiers at home. This was a time when there was special need for care to be taken of those left at home. Mrs Devereux concluded by saying that the work carried out by the Union might safely be recommended to the public, and deserved their support. (Applause.)
Mrs Whalley, who was well received, spoke at some length on “Women's Work in War Time.”  While reading a book against the Women's Suffrage Movement some time ago, she came across the phrase, “You don't get public spirit in our women.”  She was really astonished by the phrase... Since the outbreak of the war she bad been working in London, and there she had been amazed at the volume of public spirit that was in women.  The Women's Suffrage Movement started about 50 years ago, and their Union was now a very large and wealthy society but when the war broke out they at once changed from a political society to a relief society.  They placed all trained women at the disposed of the country to do relief work, and now they had a great many more trained nurses than they had money to equip them ready to send them to the Front and their object in holding that meeting was to secure more help.  Proceeding, Mrs Whalley dealt in a clear manner with the excellent work which the Union was carrying out amongst the women at home, their successful efforts in establishing women's patrol police in London, and the Girls' Cadet Corps.  They were also working in co-operation with the Co-operative Guild to check infantile mortality, and that in itself was excellent.  In conclusion she asked them to remember both those who had gone out to fight our battle, and those left at home, and the least they could do was to give something to alleviate the sufferings of our brave soldiers. (Applause.)

Monday, 2 February 2015

Economy in Children's Clothes

From the Brecon County Times, 4th February 1915.


A Baby Girl's Pelisse.
Whatever happens healthy little folk will outgrow or wear out their garments, and thrifty mothers, at these times especially, are kept very busy, either altering, lengthening, or making up something “to keep them tidy.”  As the war makes it necessary for most of us to economise, by making these small garments at home, considerable saving can be effected in the annual clothing bill, as odd lengths may be used with perfect success.

With these thoughts of economy in my mind, I have selected a little coat or pelisse for a small girl of four to six years of age in No. 1,855 as a pattern which seemed likely to useful just now.  It is quite an easy affair to make, and can be fashioned from odd lengths, as I have suggested.  The coat is designed especially for the purpose, that is, being composed of a bodice and skirt-part enables one to utilise somewhat short lengths to the best advantage.  Thus the bodice, which in the sketch is of the Magyar type, can be cut all in one, or have the sleeves added on, according to the pieces you have at your disposal, whilst the skirt part can be joined under the arms, or have a corner piece added at the back, just as may best suit the material.  The pattern thus enables you literally to carry out the proverb and “cut your coat according to your cloth.”

As to materials and colours, these I must of course leave to your discretion; also the pieces, seeing that it is intended purely for those who have to economise.

To Cut and Make. Having decided on your cloth, the next thing is the cutting out and making up. The question of a lining will be decided by the material, which, if rather thin, is necessary; at any rate, the bodice should be lined to make this as "comfy" as possible for the small wearer.  The lining should be cut a trifle larger than the coat, as woollen material is likely to stretch, and the lining, which is cotton, will not “give.”

The coat, too, had better be cut amply long and large, to allow for growth, which at this early age is apt to be very rapid.  ... [Making up instructions omitted.]  If you have any scraps left you might employ these in making the small bonnet. The coat, if not made of remnants, will take about one and a half yard of double-width goods.

[Details follow of how to obtain a paper pattern for 6½d post free.]