Friday, 24 July 2015

Appeal for Waterproof Tents

From the Halifax Courier, 24th July 1915.

Must They Sleep In Rain?


Hurrah!  And still one cheer more!  Through the goodness of friends, the Havercake Lads are now sure of another load of “Courier” comforts, and we pledge our word that as quickly as is humanly possible the consignment shall leave.  There are about 1,100 men to provide for, and we are entrusted with £300 to spend, in the manner laid down by Major Ellam, who is at the Front, and superintends these matters for the Regiment.  Our heartiest thanks are tendered to all who have assisted.  This will be something like a load.  What was sent from the same source on March 26 cost £70.  The goods sent by us to the 1/4th on May 11 cost £270. So another step forward is being made.  The collection will be described when complete.

Would that we might be able to complete a second load this very next week!  As soon as ever possible we want to buy 90 bivouacs, or waterproof tents, for shelter or for sleeping in, for the Halifax Artillery at the Front.  Being without billets, they have often to lie down in the open, wet or fine. Their Commanding Officer, Major Bullock, has asked us if we will try to beg the cost of these from the public.  It is surely needless for us to picture the men’s plight.  What would any of us be fit for after spending a solitary night in rain, say on Norland Moor?  There wouldn't be much flight left in us, would there?  Yesterday, subscriptions were in for a few of the tents, and a message came that employes in one mill in Halifax were, by way of example to other workers, going to contribute 10.

…. The commandant of the First 4th West Riding Regiment, Colonel Atkinson, Cleckheaton, in the afternoon came to the “Courier” Office to convey through us to the public the gratitude of himself, his officers and men, for the consignments of comforts we have had the privilege of sending on their behalf.  The gallant Colonel spoke in the warmest possible, and most affectionate, terms of the gallantry of the First 4th, their willingness to undertake any task.  In this sense, we gathered from his words, they are indeed a model in the line. Col. Atkinson spoke of the great service the Comforts fund is rendering, commending it as invaluable, the great bracer of our fighting lads.

[The Havercake Lads was the nickname of the West Riding Regiment - havercakes are Yorkshire oatcakes.]

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