Friday, 3 July 2015

Halifax Fighters and Prisoners' Needs

From the Halifax Courier, 3 July 1915



In a day, one solitary Saturday, Halifax alone raised £800 for horses.  Now what will Halifax do for its own Fathers and Sons?  Shall they appeal in vain?  Shall indeed they go short of anything?  Do not those vacant chairs appeal to us?  There is no more direct way of proving to our own, our gratitude.
We have made it our business to ask folk at home to provide needed comforts for Tommy.  It is one bit of proof that he has a soft spot in our hearts, that we want to help him in his great sacrifice for us.  Without he kept the enemy back, where should we be?  Let us pour out thankfulness to the fullest measure.
What did the Premier say on Tuesday:- "All money that is spent in these days on superfluous comforts or luxuries, whether in the shape of goods or in the shape of services, means the division of energy which can be better employed in the national interests, either in supplying the needs of our fighting forces in the field, or in making commodities for export which will go to reduce our indebtedness abroad."

Lady Jellicoe, speaking in Halifax yesterday, said: "However brave our soldiers and sailors are, they cannot fight, and beat the enemy without all the aid they can get from the civilian.  We know now that men and women alike must put their shoulders to the wheel.”

Regiment:  2nd West Ridings; 5th W.R. Artillery; Ammunition Column; R.A.M.C. (A Echelon); R.A.M.C. (B Echelon).
Area: Brighouse to Todmorden, Stainland to Queensbury.

The claims of other regiments (at the Front only) will be put before the public, as soon as the needs of the above have been met. As long as the War goes on, it is up to this district to continue to think generously of native braves.

The goods provided by this Fund are : --
Vests.     Carbolic Soap.   Pipes.
Pants.    Vaseline.    Cap sunshades.
Braces.    Boracic ointment.   Candles.
Handkerchiefs.  Zinc ointment.   Tinned goods.
Razors.    Sweets.   Writ'g mat'ial.
Shaving Soap.    Fruit.   Towels.
Toilet soap.   Tobacco.   Mirrors.
Tea    Games.   Biscuits.
Coffee.    Laces.   Tooth powder.
Cocoa.    Thread.   Tooth brushes.

Except to men in other than local regiments, the "Courier" only supplies on the signed application of Commanding Officers, and on the understanding that every man from the district indicated above shares.  105 prisoners known to us have received parcels weekly, but owing to lack of adequate support we are obliged to cut them down one half, so that each prisoner will now get a parcel in the next fortnight; and if the rate of sending in money does not vastly improve, we shall have to curtail their help further because, whoever else we forget, the fighters must have every possible attention.  Each parcel contains 2 mothers’ loaves, and goods costing 6s. 3d.

For shirts, socks, and all knitted goods, local regiments must apply to the Mayoress’s Committee.

Will district Red Cross and other Societies kindly consider our appeal with a view to helping it, in view of the fact that it is all for local men?
Mill, workshop, and office collections would be particularly agreeable now.  Employes throughout Halifax, Elland, Brighouse, Todmorden, Lightcliffe, Hipperholme,  Queensbury, Sowerby Bridge, Ripponden, Hebden Bridge, and all the intervening places, know that in assisting in this cause they are contributing directly to their own lads.  The cause is likewise commended to churches and their auxiliaries.  The consideration of all charitably-disposed friends we cordially invite.  Lady collectors and workers would be valuable.

Nobody can do too much, and certainly we can sacrifice in no better cause.

We have got to win.  Then let us help our own lads in doing their share.

[For some time, the Halifax Courier had been saying that their 'Comforts' fund was short of money, and making increasingly desperate appeals for more.  It seems to me that they had taken on too much - the list of things they were supplying includes many items that should have been provided by the War Office, and probably were.  Providing all those things for 1,400 men out of charitable donations was evidently proving too great a burden - and could only get more difficult as the number of Halifax men at the Front increased.]   

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