Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Breconshire War Fund

From the Brecon County Times, 24th June 1915.

[This is a short extract from a long article reviewing the organisation of Breconshire's support for local people affected by the war. I have picked out first the paragraph that shows how local support for the dependents of serving soldiers and sailors was necessary, even though the Governemet was in theory providing a Separation Allowance.  Secondly, I include the section that anticipates the help that would be required after the end of the war for the families of men killed or injured, and even for those of returning men.]  


Splendid Organisation and Splendid Work.
More Money Required to Provide for Big Future Needs.

All cases requiring relief have been considered, visited and helped.  Soldiers' wives and dependents have been assisted in claiming their separation allowances, sometimes a matter of difficulty, especially at first, and relief has been afforded until the Government allowance was received.  In this way a great amount of hardship and distress has been prevented, as in several cases months elapsed before the War Office payments began.  These many activities have involved an enormous amount of work, all done voluntarily and willingly, and the county is under a heavy debt of gratitude to those who have so readily given time and trouble to the good cause.  This debt of gratitude can and we believe will be discharged in the best possible way, by a renewed inflow of subscriptions.  This, we know, is the only kind of thanks the workers want.

Up to the time of writing some 620 cases of soldiers and sailors' wives and dependents had relieved.  Detailed particulars of every one of these are not yet to hand but they are available in 595 cases, and show no less than 1,550 persons have been helped—375 wives, 955 children and 220 dependents—truly a splendid record.

To anticipate any possible criticism of an appeal for more funds at this stage, when there is a considerable balance in hand, let it be stated—and we appeal to a warm hearted people to believe us on this point without going into many details—that the County Committee have undertaken liabilities which will exhaust their balance in a comparatively short time unless their funds are replenished.  Their beneficent operations will need to be carried on not only until the close of the war, but for an indefinite period afterwards.  There will be families left without breadwinners, and maimed soldiers will be coming home and requiring a helping hand to prove to them that their sacrifices have not been in vain.  Moreover, with the cessation of the War—and this is a big question of liability —separation allowances will stop, and there will be a very large number of families to be maintained until the returned soldiers are settled at their ordinary occupations.  To properly carry out their great task, which is nothing less than to see that not one instance of distress or hardship through the War is to be permitted to exist in Breconshire, the County Committee must be kept continuously in large funds.

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