Sunday, 20 December 2015

Lady Smith Dorrien's Hospital Bag Fund

From The Observer, December 19th, 1915.


Although this particular fund has now been running since last April and the bags supplied amount to 450,000, there are still people who are asking what exactly is the part played by them in the hospital regime.  The inspiration that prompted the kind thought was the fact that when a wounded man is taken to a casualty cleaning station his uniform is removed and the contents of his pockets placed on the floor beside his bed.  Or rather they were, before the advent of Lady Smith Dorrien's bags, which measure 10 by 12 inches, a size that suffices to hold all small personal treasures, and are consequently very highly appreciated by the wounded, who cling to their treasure bags, no matter how often they are moved—as frequently happens, to three and four hospitals—ere reaching England.

The fund is duly authorised by the War Office, who are finding the average daily output of 1,200 insufficient to meet the demands.  Therefore, Lady Smith Dorrien would gladly welcome the assistance of guilds, schools, working parties, or individuals who would be willing to undertake the delivery of a given number within a stated period.  Full particulars of the character and style of the bags best suited to the purpose can be had on application to Lady Smith Dorrien, 21, Eaton-terrace, S.W., together with a pattern bag, if required.

[The original appeal from Lady Smith Dorrien was published nationally in April 1915. Hospital bags seem to have proved very useful, especially in ensuring that a soldier's pay-book, containing his will and details of his next of kin, stayed with him when he was wounded.]

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