Monday, 19 October 2015

The Dardanelles Fund for Comforts

From the Glasgow Herald, 19th October 1915.



An appeal to the public for further contributions and gifts to enable the supply of comforts to our troops in Gallipoli to be continued is made by Lady Ian Hamilton and the committee of  Lady Hamilton's Dardanelles Fund.  Of the value of the work done by the fund there are many thousands of testimonials from all grades of the Army –fighting and non-combatant.  No weightier tribute could have been forthcoming than that of the Commander-in-Chief himself.  In a cablegram just received by Lady Hamilton Sir Ian Hamilton says:-- “It would have done the hearts of your subscribers good to see the delight of the troops at receiving their generous gifts.”

The work of despatching the gifts to the front is now discharged on behalf of Lady Hamilton's Fund by Queen Alexandra’s Field Force Fund, whose premises at 24a, Hill Street, Knightsbridge, might easily be taken by the uninitiated to be the interior of a huge West-End stores-- except of course for the absence of shoppers.  Quantities of everything needed by the man on active service are stacked in orderly array around the walls.  Bands of voluntary workers line long tables, packing with deft, busy fingers the handkerchiefs, matches, pipes, soap, socks, stationery, chocolate, helmets, mittens, sweaters, mufflers, and condiments which compose the parcels in proportions that vary with the requisition of the officers commanding the units at the front.  The enthusiastic worker and the generous donor of money are alike happy in the knowledge that goods sent through the agency of the fund reach the men at the front.  Numerous complaints have been received of the non-arrival of packages despatched by the ordinary parcels post, but so far the good things forwarded by Lady Hamilton’s workers have found their way with unerring accuracy into the hands of the men for whom they are intended.  In many cases acknowledgments follow, if not from the men, then from the officers, and they are alike strong in their expressions of gratitude and appreciation.


One officer commanding writes as follows:-- “The excellence of choice has shown deep thought on your part, and nothing could have been more acceptable.  My men last night with their parcels were like children at Christmas, and if you could have seen their faces and heard the exclamations you would have all felt well repaid for the arduous work which you have so cheerfully and willingly undertaken.”  In a letter from a base depot an Army chaplain writes:— “Last week I had one of the greatest treats of my life, and I only wish I could write a full report to show you and your committee how grateful we are for your gifts and what a service you are performing to our dear lads.  God bless you all for it -- that is not only my prayer but the prayer of hundreds of our men who are giving their best.”  The urgency of the new appeal for funds will be apparent when it is realised that only 50 per cent. of the articles needed at the front can be forwarded owing to the present lack of funds.

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