Friday, 15 May 2015

Comforts from Halifax

From the Halifax Courier, 15th May 1915.


The generosity of readers culminated this week in a great consignment of useful goods for our lads in the First 4th.  This letter, to their C.O., Lieut.-Col. Atkinson, fully explains:—
“Courier” Office.
“Halifax, May 11, 1915.—We beg to advise you that the goods purchased through our Comforts Fund, in accordance with your desire, as expressed in your letter of the 2nd May (received on the 8th), have all been purchased.  Some cases left this office to-day, one or two small ones are to follow, but the bulk of the goods, ordered by local tradesmen, are being sent direct, on their representation, by wholesale houses.  This plan has been adopted to save time, and it has a further advantage in saving cost of carriage between here and Southampton.  It is a great joy to us to have this privilege of carrying some measure of cheer to your brave men in the line.  The cost of the things we have bought, apart from miscellaneous gifts with notes attached, was £260.  For that you have entirely to thank the local public.”
The consignment comprised the following goods bought out of the Fund:—
24,000 Cigarettes.
10,000 Sheets Foreign Notepaper.
5,000 Envelopes.
5,000 Pencils.
5,000 Boxes of Safety Matches.
2,000 Handkerchiefs.
2,000 lbs. of Carbolic Soap.
1,576 Clay Pipes.
1,000 Bags of Biscuits.
1,000 Packets of Tobacco.
500 Wood Pipes.
720 Socks.
300 lbs. of Candles.
96 pairs of Braces.
£5s worth of Sweets.
£5's worth of Dates
£5's worth of Nuts.
£5's worth of Keating's Powder.
48 Electric Torches.
36 Spare Batteries for Same.
50 Razors.
96 Tins of Salmon.
48 Tins of Crayfish.
48 Tins of Whole Pineapples.
48 Tins of Pears.
24 Tins of Lobster.
34 Tins of Sardines.
24 Tins of Herrings.
24 Tins of Apricots.
24 Tins of Peaches.
12 Medicine Chests.
Packers of those tins of things, in a town shop, were so impressed that they themselves subscribed for ever such a nice quantity of tobacco, which they put into the cases.  We strike kindnesses at every turn.

[This astonishing quantity of goods was sent in response to a letter from Lieut.-Col. Atkinson in the previous week's Courier, reported here, listing what he wanted for the men of the First 4th Battalion of the West Riding Regiment.  There were about 1,000 men in the battalion, many from Halifax.  Although it is laudable that the Courier and people of Halifax should try to ensure that local men risking their lives in France should 'want for nothing', as the appeal had said, it's hard to see how supplies at this level could be kept up.]   

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