Thursday, 29 December 2016

Abergavenny Tobacco Fund

From the Abergavenny Chronicle, 29th December 1916.


(The district branch of the Newspapers Patriotic Tobacco Fund).


How our Tobacco Fund is Cheering the Men.

Not a single man in our local regiments or battalions need be without the comfort of a cigarette or a pipe of tobacco, if only our readers will continue their support of our Tobacco Fund and explain to their friends the advantages and privileges we have obtained for their convenience.

Not only continued support is wanted, if we are to accomplish our object, but increased support also.  We want more of our readers to take advantage of the arrangements we have made, which enables them to send a small supply of cigarettes or tobacco at regular intervals, duty free and post paid, to their own friends and relatives at the front.

These fine fellows want a smoke every hour of every day.  They don't want a lot of cigarettes or tobacco sent to-day and then to wait for weeks before the next parcel arrives.  They can't carry a lot around with them—their kit is cumbersome enough already—but they want a small supply regularly and often.  This is just what you can arrange through our Tobacco Fund.

Moreover, we want our readers to remember—when arranging to send parcels of smokes through our Tobacco Fund to their friends—that there are many friendless soldiers in our local regiments, and battalions, friendless in the sense that, unlike other fellows, they have no one at home able to send them regularly the smokes for which they are constantly clamouring.

And so, when you send your remittance with instructions for parcels for your own friends, please include as large a donation as you can for sending 1/- parcels containing 50 good cigarettes and a packet of splendid smoking tobacco to such friendless soldiers.

By reason of our association with the Newspapers Patriotic Tobacco Fund, of which our fund is the branch looking after the fighting-men for our own district, the distribution of our General Fund parcels is made through Sir Edward Ward, the Director-General of Voluntary Organisations.  This ensures our Tobacco Fund parcels going just to the local men who are most in need of them.
Sir Edward Ward is the supreme head of a special department appointed by the Government to control all patriotic funds, and is doing all he can to see that the distribution of comforts from home is fairly and equally made between all the fighting men on Active Service.  Our men must be as well looked after as those from other districts.

And so it is we appeal to our readers for renewed help.  With the increased number of our local men at the front, the demand for cigarettes and tobacco is increasing and particularly insistent.  We know we shall not call in vain upon the generosity of our readers.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Exhibition of Hospital Supplies

From the North Wales Chronicle, 22nd December 1916. 



On Wednesday there was a particularly interesting exhibition of work at the R.W. Hospital Supply Depot, which has the distinction of being the first of its kind opened in the county.  It is affiliated under the scheme of the Director General of Voluntary Organisations, is recognised by the War Office and is duly registered under the War Charity Act of 1916.  Although it was only in October last that the organisation took its present form, the enthusiastic members, numbering forty-one, had, on Monday, no fewer than one thousand two hundred and eighty-five articles ready for dispatch, exclusive of some thousands of swabs.  The exhibits included all kinds of woollen comforts and hospital dressings, besides many of the pretty cretonne “treasure-bags” so much appreciated by the wounded.  Many of the members devote several hours daily to this good work.  The president (Mrs. Johnson, Windigate) and her allies (Mrs Barff, hon. Secretary, and Mrs Slack, hon. treasurer) are much to be congratulated on the all-round success of Rhosneigr’s excellent lead in this urgently needed work.

Friday, 2 December 2016

The “Flashlight” Habit

From the Dundee People’s Journal, 2nd December 1916.

The "flashlight" habit seems to have been acquired by the majority of Dundee folk, but unfortunately a number of these seem unable to use a flashlight properly.  Evening after evening girls are observed walking along with a lamp held straight in front of them, and the consequence is that any one approaching from the opposite direction is momentarily blinded.

When this happens the person who is approaching, not being able to see in front of him, generally collides with the owner of the lamp, to the no small indignation of that individual.  Just the other night I witnessed this happen, and heard an elderly gentleman receive abuse which he certainly had not earned from two young women. 

All this unpleasantness could quite well be avoided if those who carry torches would, instead of holding the light straight out, let it strike downwards against the wall at their side.  In this way the rays are cast on to the pavement, and act as a guide for both those who carry the lamp and those who are approaching. so that both parties can clearly see each other.

[Pedestrians were carrying flashlights because the street lights had been turned off for fear of air-raids, I assume.]

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Knitting Fortnight In Dundee

From the Dundee Courier, 29th November 1916.


At yesterday meeting of the Dundee Women's War Relief Fund Committee, held at the Town House, Miss Kynoch presided....... Requisitions for the past week—all of which were passed—were received from: — The D.G.V.O. [Director General of Voluntary Organisations] for 370 pairs of sox, 40 shirts, 16 helmets, 3 waistcoats, and one pair of gloves: the Washing and Mending Committee, for 6 shirts; Mrs Miller, Red Roofs, Broughty Ferry, for 50 pairs of mitts and 50 mufflers for the R.N.D. [Royal Naval Division]; Lieutenant Gordon. for 200 pairs of sox for the A. and S. [Argyll and Sutherland] Highlanders, B.E.F. [British Expeditionary Force]: Lieutenant Lowson, R.N.R. [Royal Naval Reserve], for 25 pairs each of mitts and sox, and 25 mufflers for the men of H.M.S. Heroic.

Miss Duncanson read a letter from the D.G.V.O. referring to the great need for winter comforts for the men at the front, and suggesting that a knitting week or fortnight should be arranged.  On the motion of Mrs Steven (Barnhill), it was decided that the first fortnight of December, beginning on the Monday, be set apart as knitting fortnight, and that the Central Office be supplied with four spindles of wool to begin with for giving out to workers in the district.  ....Miss Duncanson intimated that the number of articles sent to the Central Office during the past week was 1055, making the grand total 152,816, while Mrs Kerr stated that the balance at the Central Office was £139 l6s 9d.

Monday, 28 November 2016

War Meals

From The Cambria Daily Leader, 28th November 1916.


A Middle-class Servant Problem and War Economy.

THERE must be a very large a number of housewives who, in their patriotic efforts to practice what the War Savings Committee are continually preaching, the "one meat meal per day" regimen, find themselves “up against” a very serious servant problem.  It appears that the average servant cannot or will not make vegetable dishes interesting and palatable, either because conservative ideas about what is really a respectable meal and a personal liking for meat two or even three times a day hold her in thrall, or owing to the fact that vegetarian and non-meat dishes need more careful preparation and cooking.  It is an undeniable fact that the “plain cook” likes plain dishes, which in plain language as she understands it mean dishes that require practically no trouble and little skill in the preparation.  The plain joint and the plain boiled potato generally meet all her ideas and ideals so far at least as the main course goes.

It is a real difficulty.  British prejudice in the matter of food is well known, but it is essential as matters stand to- day that there should be a radical change in diet; and in the transition stage mistresses are bound to suffer from the vagaries of their maids.  In fact, the home where the food revolution is affected with least trouble is likely to be the maidless one, where the mother is her own cook, or the “one maid house,” where the one maid is the housemaid in the widest sense of the word, and the housemistress her own “kitchen-maid.” Meatless dishes certainly require long and careful cooking, but though with an old-fashioned unreliable coal range they are troublesome to prepare, with a gas cooker, the heat of which can be so regulated that a stew over the simmering burner can be left to cook itself for hours, especially if this invaluable kitchen adjunct be supplemented by a labour and gas-saving “hay-box,” such difficulties quickly disappear.


There are all sorts of pleasing meatless dishes which can be prepared at very little cost by anyone who is willing to take enough trouble to make them a success.  Let me give a few examples:—
Maccaroni and Apples.-Boil 4 ozs. thin maccaroni in boiling milk with 2 ozs. sugar, the grated rind of a lemon, and a teaspoonful of powdered cinnamon.  Drain and put round a dish.  Have ready six stewed apples, cut into halves and quarters, heap in centre of dish and pour custard over.
A nourishing soup and bread followed by this dish would make a very good “meatless meal,” that is, a “jointless meal,” as distinct from a strictly vegetarian diet, for it is not vegetarianism that the Government has been preaching, but economy in the use of meat, a fundamental fact housewives seem not yet to fully appreciate.  It is a question of spreading your “butter” — or in this case, your flesh meat — a little thinner than in the past days of plenty.

Maccaroni, of course, can be used to form the basis of a number of savoury dishes; the great thing to remember is that it must be thrown into boiling water, and that directly it comes to the boil again it must be moved on to the simmering burner, where it will take 25-35 minutes to cook.  If it is hot, but “off the boil,” it will not spoil if left in the haybox for an hour or more.

Cheese and Nut Savoury is another economical and palatable dish. One breakfast cup of grated cheese is mixed with the same amount of grated walnuts and grated breadcrumbs and a little chopped parsley, moistened with a little water and lemon juice, spread in a low dish and baked lightly.  This is a good way of using up stale bread and stale cheese.  (The walnuts can be bought at some shops ready prepared.)

Potatoes left over from the meat meal are an ingredient of another useful dish, Lentil Sausage.  Boil ½lb. Egyptian lentils for about half-an-hour just covered with water; when soft mash them, add the mashed potatoes and some chopped fried onions, and mix well. Form into sausages, dip into white of egg or milk, and fry.


Such dishes could be almost infinitely multiplied, and the experienced housewife will herself discover variants of the more familiar ones. For sameness in a vegetarian diet must be avoided; and since economy is the motive and not dislike of animal food, it is, of course, quite permissible to flavour the dishes with any meat or gravy that happens to be handy. The national taste cannot be altogether neglected.  Bits of bacon and scraps of ham, for instance, make a pleasing addition to vegetables.


It is hardly necessary to remark on the need for keeping bones and scraps for making stock; but it must be pointed out that soup should not be served in spoonfuls as a kind of appetiser, but should be an important item in the dietary.  It can be made a very nourishing food by the addition of various thickenings to meat and vegetable boilings from beans and peas, etc.  Flour, oatmeal, rice, barley, potatoes, bread, and so on, are all useful thickenings.  Forced meat balls dropped in soup add flavour, as does grated cheese, while where there are hungry children "baby dumplings" may be added.  Soup of this nourishing nature is very useful, as we have seen, for the meatless meal.


It is rather a vexed question as to when this meatless meal should be taken. A light lunch is perhaps the ideal, but where there are children the principal meal has to come in the middle of the day, and so to avoid to sets of heavy cooking the evening meal should be a light one.  It is easy to make the dishes suggested when the bulk of the cooking is being done, and then re-heat them when needed; or the hay-box is very valuable for the long, slow cooking required, as also for father's meat dish if he is not home at mid-day.  If, then, the rule is that the meatless meal comes at night for the children's sake, the man of the family may have to go to » restaurant for a substantial mid-day dinner; but this will be cheaper than cooking two big meals at home—cheaper in fuel, food materials, time and energy.


A word about breakfast.  The Continental habit is repugnant to the average English mind, but it is really unnecessary extravagance if there is to be a substantial mid-day meal to indulge in the heavy meat breakfast that used to be so prevalent.  Oatmeal porridge, with crisp toast to induce proper mastication and teethwork, together with brown bread, margarine, and jam or marmalade provides a satisfying and nourishing meal for children and adults alike.  Porridge is not difficult to prepare; in a double saucepan it can be left to cook over the gas without any fear of burning, or it can be boiled for a few minutes overnight and then put into the haybox to cook all night, and only needs a few minutes' re-heating in the morning.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Can You Spare a Walking Stick?

From the Brecon & Radnor Express, 23rd November 1916.

Can You Spare a Walking Stick?

The Director-General of Voluntary Organisations (Col. Sir Edward Ward) earnestly appeals for strong walking sticks for the use of wounded and partially disabled soldiers.

Mrs G. W. Moseley, Llandrindod Wells, has kindly undertaken to be responsible for the collection in Radnorshire, and all sticks should be sent to her at the County Buildings.  There is not the least danger of too many being sent.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Need For Continued Effort

From the Barry Dock News, 17th November 1916


Appeals are being made all over the country for the soldiers at the front, and the sailors on the sea, and for such an object a generous and general response is assured.  But there is evidence that not quite so much as in former winters is being done to supply the men with other comforts.  There is less enthusiasm shown in knitting scarves and mittens and helmets, and shopkeepers confess that the demand for khaki wool has fallen off.  Doubtless many of the women who used to spend their leisure in needlework and knitting are now engaged on some form of war work, but it is to be feared that the diminution is also due in some measure to the novelty of the thing having worn off.  If this be so, it is very regrettable, for never was the need more urgent, or the numbers requiring comforts so large.  The Queen recently issued a forcible appeal, and when the women at home realise the conditions of trench life, the knitting needles will once again ply as busily as ever.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Denbighshire War Work Guild and County Comforts Association

From the Llangollen Advertiser, 16th November 1916. 

War Work Guild and County Comforts Association.

The collection for the above was held on November 8th, and: Mrs. W. Best is glad to be able to report a decided increase in numbers, there being a total of 191 articles, made up as follows:-39 pairs of socks, 3 jerseys, 88 pairs of mittens, 4 bed jackets, 40 scarves, 4 pairs op. stockings, 10 caps and helmets, 6 bags and 2 various.  The workers in Llantysilio contributed 53 knitted articles, 25 coming from the Mothers' Union work party.

Since the last report, distribution has been made to the County Comforts' Association of 80 pairs of mittens, 35 scarves, 8 helmets, 5 bed jackets and 5 pairs of operating stockings; to Mrs. Wood, for the Liverpool Regiment, 10 pairs of socks; to Pte. Frank Edwards, R.W.F., 2 pairs of socks; to Pte. Griffiths Jones, R. W.F., 1 shirt and 2 pairs of socks; to Pte. John W. Rogers. K.S.L.I., 1 shirt, jersey, scarf, 2 pairs of socks.  To the following Llantysilio men: Pte. C. C. Lloyd, R.W.F., 1 jersey, a pair of socks, helmet, mittens and scarf; to Pte. John Roberts, Cheshire Regiment, Pte. Price Edwards, R.W.F., Pte. Thomas Roberts, R.W.F., and to Pte. Gwilym Roberts, K.L. Regiment, each a parcel containing one shirt, pair of socks, cap, mittens and scarf.

Sir Edward Ward continues to press his appeals to the voluntary organisations under his control, and he asks to know the maximum number of scarves, helmets, and mittens that Denbighshire can supply fortnightly up till Christmas, concluding:  "The need for these articles is great and urgent."  In answer to this, Mrs. W. Best hopes to supply every fortnight 50 mittens, 30 scarves, and 20 helmets.

Mrs. Best would be glad to send specifications of the helmets to anyone on request, as she is anxious to get more of these made, as so few workers attempt them.

The next colIection will be on November 22.

Thursday, 10 November 2016


From The Times, 10th November 1916.



Sir,—Many of your readers ask how their promised 10,000 sweaters are going.  Well, Sir Edward Ward, omniscient and industrious, is packing 7,000 for Mesopotamia, 2,000 are here being classified, the remaining 1,000, and more, judging by the letters, are on their way to me.  So we haven’t done so badly; I admit I hadn't allowed quite enough time for delays, inevitable in these days, but I still wonder what the connexion is between the glory and grandeur of the Somme and the difficulty of procuring needles No. 7 in Slodgecumb-in-the-Mud.  But the main thing is that the promise is kept in the spirit, if not in the sweater, and that the men, our incomparable men, will have this little offering-of ours before the snow.

My correspondents are not less curious, actively and passively, than heretofore.  "Will you please write an explanatory history of the sweater movement to allay suspicions?"  Madam, in the whole story of criminal derangement, did you ever hear tell of a diseased lust for accumulating 800 sweaters a day in a garret in the Temple?  And what is the scientific name for a morbid passion for buying 10,000 half-penny stamps to acknowledge them?  I believe you are still haunted by the spectre of that elderly, alien, female enemy in the Mile End-road„ deriving enormous profits from the sale of your sweaters to her compatriots.

One sweater is, I fear, irretrievably lost.  To a venerable lady whose honoured hands have knitted for the men on every front I wrote. "If you thought well to stitch a card on the sweater giving the age of the knitter (it was something over 90), the happy warrior who wears it will be happier still."  All very decorous and well intentioned. but I spoiled the effect by putting my message into the wrong envelope.  It was not well received—and the Army is a sweater short to-day.

I have done the best I could with the acknowledgments, but there are still 176 unidentified parcels. I give what particulars I can of these in your personal column to-day, but I may say that your advertisement manager is not half so agreeable as yourself; Sir, and this is an expensive process.  So will ladies add the kindness of clear and complete cards to their good sweaters?

I approach the delicate ground of the future of sweaters.  While the London County Council, or it may be the Lord Chancellor himself by this time, are making up their minds what is to be done with my vile body, I am correctly forbidden to make further appeals.  The fact is my application for registration was late—I was turning the fire escape into a sweater chute that afternoon.
*   *   *   *   *   *
The above represents the most eloquent paragraph ever composed on the need of sweaters all the winter through, and the excellence of the printed pattern I have here for distribution.  Shall I awake in Pentonville if I ask your readers to take it as read?  I had almost forgotten—the sudatrix presents her duty, and, to my great relief, your readers' conduct is considered not otherwise than satisfactory.
Yours faithfully,
8, King’s Bench Walk, Inner Temple, E.C., Nov. 9.

[The reference to 'the most eloquent paragraph' puzzled me, but possibly it's the line of asterisks, representing snow.   

The sudatrix is I think his housekeeper - it means 'someone who sweats or causes to sweat' - a pun on sweater, I suppose, and a reference to the fact that in the early days of the war, John Penoyre was collecting sweaters of any colour, and dyeing them khaki, which his letters suggest was done in his flat. By his housekeeper, and not by him, I imagine.] 

Thursday, 3 November 2016

The Woman Workers Toilet

From the Abergavenny Chronicle, 3rd November 1916.


The woman war worker who feels the fatigue of her unaccustomed work, should take advantage of the comfort and relief afforded to her in the Royal Vinolia articles of toilet.
First and foremost comes the celebrated Royal Vinolia Cream, which nourishes the skin, and keeps it soft and supple.  As a medicated cream it is invaluable for healing the slight cuts and abrasions which are liable to occur in factory or on farm, and which might lead to serious trouble if neglected.  In all cases of skin trouble or eruption, Royal Vinolia Cream will be found to give instant relief.  It is supplied in dainty tins, varying in price from 1s. 1½d. to 6s. 9d.

Then there is Royal Vinolia Talcum Powder, which is delightfully soothing to the skin that has become tender after exposure to wind and sun.  It readily absorbs excessive perspiration, and keeps the skin free from redness and irritation.  It is packed in handsome tins of Wedgwood design at ninepence and a shilling each.

Last, but not least, comes Royal Vinolia Tooth Paste, which is sold in tubes at sixpence and one shilling each.  This should be used by all who wish to have and to retain sound, white teeth.  Its antiseptic properties prevent decay, and keep the mouth in a healthy condition.  Good teeth are essential to good health, and the use of Royal Vinolia Tooth Paste ensures good teeth.

Fearnought Glove Fund.

From The Glasgow Herald, November 3, 1916.


The Glasgow Academy Fearnought Gloves Fund has been reopened.  Since it was started two years ago by Miss McCallum 4000 pairs have been sent to crews of H.M. destroyers and other small craft which have to patrol the seas in all weather, and have been found most efficacious in keeping warm and dry the hands of our sailors.  The Academy glove is well known in the service, and has been commended by Commodore Tyrrwhitt.  In addition, tweed gloves covered with waterproof are being sent to men in submarines for use when the vessels are on the surface, as the men then feel the cold keenly.  The gloves for the submarine crews are made from oddments of waterproof and of woollen materials gifted by manufacturers, clothiers, and other donors.  Requests from commanding officers for supplies are coming to hand almost daily, and in order to cope with the demand, which, it is expected, will be even greater than last year, an appeal is made for further donations of money and materials and for additional workers.  The gloves may be seen at the Glasgow Academy any Monday or Wednesday afternoon during the session, when Mrs Sinclair, the convener, will be glad to give any desired information to those who may wish to help in the work.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Entertaining the Troops in France

From the Huddersfield  Daily Examiner, 25th October 1916.



A meeting of the Huddersfield and District Women's Committee for Soldiers and Sailors, held at the Town Hall, yesterday afternoon, was addressed by Miss Lena Ashwell on her experiences with her concert parties in France.

The Mayoress (Mrs. Blamires), who presided, announced particulars of a forthcoming bazaar, a “Harrods Store and Covent Garden combined,” in aid of the funds of the committee.

Miss N. Lowe (treasurer) said that since the formation of the society they had received monetary gifts totalling £8,216, of which £3,526 had been raised by the Mayoress's Comforts Fund.  The expenditure amounted to £8,297, leaving a deficit of £81.

Mrs. Marshall (secretary) presented a report reviewing the work of the committee since its foundation.  Over 44,000 socks and 2,180 dressing gowns and a grand total of 199,647 articles had been sent out. (Applause.) They had received gifts of articles to the value of £8,098. The bandage room had supplied 43,894 bandages and pneumonia jackets, and the slipper department, which was started at Lindley had sent out 1,450 slippers. 10,703 shirts, 9,456 mufflers, and over 8,000 mittens had also been sent out.  Those figures, colossal as they were, did not represent the whole of the work that had been done, as so many districts were sending out their work themselves. (Applause.)
Brief reports were also given by Mrs. L. Demetriadi.

Miss L. Ashwell said that she at first had desired that the work of entertaining our troops in France should be done nationally.  But there was a tremendous prejudice against artists—the road that they must travel was felt to be very dangerous, and some people feared that when the artist came there was going to be trouble.  So the doors of the War Office were closed against her, and she despaired of ever sending out parties until she received an invitation to do so through the women's auxiliary of the Y.M.C.A.  The first party arrived in France early in February, 1915, and they were now sending out three parties per month.  The parties usually consisted of seven artists—a soprano, a contralto, a tenor, a bass, a violinist or a ‘celloist, an entertainer, and an accompanist.  Three concerts a day were given–one in the hospital at three in the afternoon and two in a camp, beginning at 5-30 and ending about 9-30.


People at home had no conception of the horror, of the intense despair of it all; it made them laugh with pride, and then to curse at the horror of the thing, to see fine men going up to the line, and battered wrecks coming down.  Yet—the splendour of it!—the men marched up to the line with a laugh.  When did the Englishman go anywhere but with a smile?  Their laugh was not a silly laugh: it was a keenly intelligent laugh.  The English-man over there didn't want rot.  Anybody who said that the masses wanted the lowest class of amusement and did not want education was a liar. (Applause.) The men wanted only the very best.  She had taken to the soldiers “'Macbeth,” in spite of those who had prophesied disaster, and there could not have been a more keenly interested audience.  One could have heard a pin drop.  She had also played “The Twelve-Pound Look,” by Sir James Barrie.  A little serious, perhaps a little above the average intelligence, they might say, but her audience, composed of transport workers, saw every point, saw every subtlety, as well as any West End audience in London.  And everywhere they went they found gardens.  She had seen sweet peas growing beautifully where there seemed nothing but cinders and dust.  The soldier was extraordinarily successful in creating beautiful gardens where one would have thought nothing could grow—and where nothing could grow he would make beautiful patterns on the ground by means of coloured glass or painted stones.  Everywhere there was a real love of flowers, and a real inherent sense of beauty which was not generally supposed to be characteristic of the workers of this great nation.  She had been told by more than one commanding officer that there were more volunteers to return to the line after a visit to a base hospital by a concert party.  No medicine, no drug, did so much good as a concert party in giving back the men their bravery.  The soldier loved the violin, he adored the 'cello; he liked duets from opera, he was fond of the old ballads, and he loved Bach and Handel.  Could they realise what a concert, a few hours of normal life, meant to these men, after months and months of the sight of nothing but desolation and horror?  A few moments of beauty did so much, because beauty could always wipe out evil, and misery could always be kept away by healthy laughter.


Their theatres were sometimes rather crude.  She had played on a stage composed of tables; she had played “Macbeth” with a soap box as the grand throne in the hall of the Castle of Dunsinane, and Red Cross screens as scenery.  (Laughter.) But the thing was that it did all right; there was the soap box, they pretended it was a throne, and from that time it was a throne; there were screens, and they could easily pretend that there was a corridor.  It worked excellently, because her audience were intelligent, vital human beings, who needed entertainment, who had been starved of beauty. The most wonderful thing in the world was to hear the men cheer their thanks, and to see them marching to the line.  It was because they had thrown their whole lives into their task.  There was something more terrible than death, and that was to fail to live up to their ideals.

Concluding, she appealed for continued support.  They could not, she said, take any entertainment with a clear conscience, unless they had sent something for the entertainment of the men over there.  They had all hoped that there would not be another winter campaign, and the next winter would be the hardest of all.  It was the morale, the heart behind, that won the battle, and she wanted more concert parties to keep up their hearts.  She instanced how two men, one a doctor and the other a padre, had thanked her—by crying.  Their gratitude was so great and they had felt so deeply the necessity of music, of art, and of beauty. (Loud applause.)

Monday, 24 October 2016

The Winter Campaign – Appeal for Comforts.

From The Times, Tuesday October 24, 1916.



We have received the following letter which the Queen has written, appealing for continued support for her Needlework Guild, which has done so much for the comfort of soldiers and sailors:—
Buckingham Palace, Oct. 24.
On the threshold of the third winter since the beginning of the war, I appeal to all those who have generously responded to my requests for work during the past two years not to relax their efforts in providing comforts for our soldiers and sailors.
Though applications from regiments and hospitals at home and abroad increase instead of diminish, and an almost unlimited number of things are needed if the Queen Mary's Needlework Guild is to meet all the demands made upon it.
As Sir Edward Ward has recently pointed out, the chief needs at the present moment are mittens, mufflers, helmets, socks, gloves, and cardigans; and my Guild is also being specially asked for pyjamas, day-shirts, bed-jackets, blankets, and sheets.
I wish to take this opportunity of thanking again the many workers in many lands who have so kindly contributed to the splendid total of 3,990,784 garments, which have been sent out in 26 months from Friary Court.

We are informed that of the 3,990,784 articles sent out by the Guild, about 650,000 have been supplied to regiments in France, 600,000 to hospitals at home, 1,750,000 to hospitals abroad, and the rest to the forces in Africa, the Allied Forces, prisoners in Germany, and various organizations for helping women and children at home. Of these articles, over 2,600,000 were bandages, splints, and other surgical requisites. The following are the numbers of “comforts” which have been supplied by the Guild up to October 21, and which bring the total to the figure mentioned in the Queen's letter:—

Blankets ..
Operation gowns
Cloth clothes and caps ..
Comforters     ..

Friday, 7 October 2016

Bad Language To A Lady Conductor.

From the Halifax Courier 7 October 1916.


John Dewhirst, 36, St. Paul's-road, Halifax, was summoned for using offensive language to a lady tram conductor on. Sept. 13.  Mr. W. H. Pollitt said that on Sept. 13 defendant got on a car at Mytholmroyd; and put a basket of fowls on the tram front.  He paid 2d. for his fare to Luddenden Foot.  A lady conductor told him she wanted 1d. for luggage.  He replied with offensive language, and would not pay.  She went for the driver, and defendant used offensive language to the driver, also to another driver who was called.

Mr. H. Boocock for the defence, pleading guilty, said the dispute arose about the penny.  She evidently thought it should be paid, and he didn't.  There was no disrespect intended to her.  Defendant was "a farmer sort of chap," and didn't know exactly what he was saying.  He was a respectable man, and had been in the employ of the Corporation a good number of years.
The Chairman said the Bench considered it a very serious case.  Lady conductors would have to be protected by the authorities.  It was very disgraceful on the part of a man to terrorise a girl who was simply discharging her duties in a proper manner.  They wished it to be thoroughly understood that the Bench would deal severely with cases of that kind.  In this instance, defendant would be fined £1, and 6s. costs.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Comforts from Aberystwyth

From the Cambrian News, 29th September 1916.


COMFORTS.—Since its formation in October, 1915, the Comforts Sub-Committee of the War Service Committee has met eleven times.  The funds for the purchase of material have been supplied entirely by the War Service Committee, from whom grants amounting to £78 19s. have been received.  Several valuable gifts of knitted comforts have also been received from individuals and working parties.  The following articles were despatched during the year to France, Salonika, and Mombassa, on the requisition of the Director General of Voluntary Organisations :—325 mufflers, fifty pairs of mittens, 161 pairs of socks, ten helmets, twenty-five bed jackets, and fifty pairs of bed socks.  There is in hand in preparation for the winter campaign nearly 1,000 articles made by the workers.  A letter has been received from the Director General of Voluntary Organisations appreciating the work done by the Committee and requesting for even greater efforts.  With the increase in the numbers of fighting men at the front, the need for comforts is proportionately increased.  All purchases have been made locally, and those with whom the orders were placed met the Committee generously.  The Committee thank all ladies who have worked, especially those who at short notice enabled the Committee to despatch the requisitions at the required times.  If the Committee have funds they will be able to do even more work than hitherto and can easily use material up to the value of £150.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Collecting Sphagnum Moss

From the North Wales Chronicle, 22nd September 1916.


(To the Editor.)

Sir,—In last week's North Wales Chronicle I saw a letter advocating the collection of sphagnum moss for surgical dressings.  I happened a short time ago to visit the Sphagnum Moss Depot, 45, Horseferry-road, Westminster, London, S. W., and was told that any quantity is required.  Leaflets which give full information about the collecting and drying of the moss, the correct sizes of the "butter-muslin" bags which are best for filling with the moss, and all details can be obtained from:
The Director General of Voluntary Organisations,
Scotland House,
New Scotland Yard, London, S.W.

I know a village in Cumberland where the subject was keenly taken up by the schoolmaster; quantities of moss were collected by the schoolboys, chiefly on Saturday afternoons; and the picking over, to clean from leaves and sticks, was done by women and girls, who also made the muslin bags.  They sent off a large quantity to the Edinburgh War Dressings Supply Depot.

The sterilizing and final pressing and weighing are done at the Horseferry-road Depot.—I remain, sir, yours faithfully,
12a, Curzon-street, W.

September 19th.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Ven-Yusa Oxygen Cream

From the Carmarthen Journal, 15th September 1916.


STAGE beauties unite with Society Leaders and the great army of women war workers in acclaiming the superiority of Ven-Yusa Creme de Luxe over all other face creams.

Ven-Yusa is essentially a natural preparation, and its effect on the skin is the equivalent of “an oxygen bath.”

Ven-Yusa cleanses the pores and, by revitalising the tissues, imparts to the skin a velvety softness and beauty which are lasting.

There is no suggestion of artificial aid in the Ven-Yusa complexion.  It always carries the natural bloom of youth.

Only in the regular use of Ven-Yusa lies the secret of a soft skin and lovely complexion.

MISS JOYCE BARBOUR, “the Baby of the Gaiety,” writes: “I am charmed with Ven-Yusa Cream.  Its refreshing fragrance and utter absence of grease leave the skin beautifully soft and smooth.  I am never without a jar of this valuable preparation,”

1/- per jar, of Chemists, Hairdressers, &c.
Send this Coupon and 3 penny stamps to C. E. Fulford. Ltd., Leeds, for a dainty trial jar.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

The Lady's World

From the Monmouth Guardian, 8th September 1916. 


The September number of "The Lady's World," published by Messrs. Horace Marshall & Sons, 125, Fleet Street, London E.G., contains the concluding chapters of Ethel Heddle's charming new serial story entitled "The Wicked Lord Beauregard," along with complete stories by Beatrice Heron-Maxwell and Fred M. White.  Miss Bartlett gives one of her charming articles upon the placing and draping of beds.  In the fancy work section are instructions for knitting a useful dressing jacket, rug making, crochet work, and the newest embroideries.  Dame Fashion is well illustrated with the newest autumn styles for ladies and children, and a novel article on how to make up a new frock from an old one.  The gratis pattern this month consists of a very useful breeches pattern which war workers will find a boon.  Readers should order this splendid number early either direct from their own newsagent or from "The Lady's World" Office, 6, Essex Street, Strand, W.C., post free, 5d.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Cafe Chantant at Aberystwyth

From the Cambrian News, 14th July 1916.

Cafe Chantant.


Under the auspices of the local branch of the Surgical Requisites Association, a cafe chantant was held on Wednesday afternoon at the Old Assembly Rooms for the purpose of raising funds to provide bandages for wounded soldiers and sailors.  There was a large gathering and the proceedings were of an enjoyable character.

Mr. A. J. Hughes, town clerk, in introducing Lady Pryse to open the programme, explained that the Association was a branch of Queen Mary's Needlework Guild.  The branch was inaugurated at Aberystwyth in October and there were now eighty patriotic members who had the privilege of joining in that good work, in which they had shown great devotion.  Each working member contributed sixpence a week to procure materials.  The Association had sent to the head office 20,000 bandages which were practically entirely hand-made.  A parcel of 500 bandages was sent every week and a special appeal was being made by the head office for further efforts.  For that purpose more funds were necessary to procure materials and an increase of members would be welcomed. (Cheers).

Lady Pryse declared the function open and was thanked on the proposition of Mrs. Brown, seconded by Mrs. Jack Thomas.

The decorations were admirably arranged by Mr. W. H. Jones, Great Darkgate-street.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Voluntary Help

From the Brecon and Radnor Express, 13th July, 1916.

Voluntary Help.



Mrs G.M. Moseley, the hon. secretary of the Radnorshire Association for Voluntary Work, has received the following letter from Sir Edward Ward, the Director-General of Voluntary Organisations :—

"Dear Madam,—With reference to the recent circular letters addressed to you regarding supplies of knitted comforts for the armies in the field and hospital requisites for our wounded men, I think it wise to emphasise the point that demands upon my department for all these articles are likely to be very heavy, and, in order to meet them, I must rely upon the re-doubled efforts of the hundreds of thousands of voluntary workers who have so patriotically united for the purpose of working under the central direction of my department.

It will interest all the members of your association to know that enormous quantities of all kinds of comforts have been distributed in each theatre of war to units of every arm of the service and to all military hospitals, both at home and abroad, and, in addition, we have been able to give our gallant Allies very material help.

The demands from camp, trench and hospital steadily increase, and it is only by your splendid work that we are able adequately to meet the urgent requirements of our fighting men at home and abroad.  As an example, one comparatively small demand which I, as Director-general of Voluntary Organisations, have undertaken on your behalf to supply by the middle of August is 50,000 pairs of mittens for the troops in Mesopotamia.  I am confident, therefore, that you will accumulate stocks which will enable me to meet promptly every request.

The demands and necessities for more hospital supplies increase daily.  The hospitals have nothing but the warmest praise for the requisites supplied by you.

In the name of our soldiers, I thank you and all the workers of your association for the splendid response you have made to my appeals on their behalf, and I look to you not to relax your efforts in making both comforts and hospital supplies."

Friday, 8 July 2016

Denbighshire County Comforts Association

From the Denbighshire Free Press, 8th July, 1916.


The Director General of Voluntary Organizations begs to notify all Associations that it is necessary to make provision for the large number of warm comforts which his department will be called upon to provide in the probable event of another winter campaign and, if hostilities terminate sooner, large bodies of troops will still have to be provided for.

Associations are therefore recommended to commence making and collecting supplies of articles such as Cardigan waistcoats, mufflers, mittens, helmets and hand-knitted socks, so that considerable quantities may be available for requisition by the department for forwarding to the distant theatres of war towards the end of August, and for Western front at the end of September and during October.
Bearing in mind the great increase in our Overseas Force since the close of the last winter campaign, it is certain that the demands in the coming autumn will be far greater than those of last year. There is, no doubt, a vast body of workers who will be willing to devote some time during their summer holiday to making supplies of the articles enumerated. It is only by preparation in advance that Associations can hope to be in a position to fulfil demands which they will be asked to respond to in the early autumn.

The Drill Hall, Denbigh, is open every Saturday, 2-45 p.m., when people can obtain wool, etc for the work.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Pansy Day

From the Halifax Courier, July 1st 1916. 



There have been many Flag Days and Flower Days during the past year, all for worthy objects, but it is quite true to state that the Pansy Day, arranged for Saturday next, has for its object a cause as worthy as any.  It is an endeavour to collect funds to enable the Mayoress' Red Cross and Comforts Committee to continue the good work amongst our local men on active service.  Thus far it has accomplished a most excellent work, and so thoroughly has it been done that the Committee’s stores are almost emptied. Every one will agree that the work must continue, and the ladies realising this, asked Lady Fisher Smith to undertake the organisation of a special day.  Needless to state Lady Fisher Smith at once undertook the work, and the result is that a Pansy Day is being arranged for next Saturday.


Coming to the details, the Mayoress will have a special stall in George Square, and it is hoped the Military Band from the Barracks will be in attendance.  A further item of interest is that every authorised person taking part in the affair will have an official badge, and no children will take part.  As the details come to light one realises that the organisation is in capable hands, and favoured with suitable weather the effort will be a success.

Perhaps there are some readers who do not know how much has been achieved by the Mayoress's Red Cross Committee.  Dealing with the last six months only, amongst other items 10,261 garments have been sent to the men in the various battalions of the Duke of Wellington's; over 1,000 garments with hospital requisites in addition, have been supplied to St. Luke's and the Infirmary; 6,763 yards of calico, 2,925 yards of surgical gauze for making into bandages, and 1,757 splint padded bandages have been supplied to St. Luke's, whilst a goodly number of articles have been sent to Halifax men in other than local regiments, the Navy, and to prisoners of war.  This is a fine record, and it is impossible to estimate the value of the work done. Pounds, shillings and pence are inadequate.  Finally, the work must go on, and the people of Halifax will, we are sure, rise to the occasion.

Friday, 10 June 2016

An American “Knitting Tea”

From the Halifax Courier 10th June 1916


On Thursday, a novel gathering took place in the Victoria Hall, in aid of the Mayoress's Red Cross Fund for Soldiers’ and Sailors' Comforts.  It was arranged by the Mayoress's Red Cross Committee, and bore the name of an American Knitting Tea, the proceedings continuing from 3 to 6 p.m.  The spacious hall was filled with small tea tables, at which the visitors sat.  Each visitor was asked to bring one article of not less value than 1s. [1 shilling] and to buy one article also.  Thus all the goods sold were given, and it is hoped to realise a substantial sum.  ..... There were flower, cake, and miscellaneous stalls, contributions for these being received at the hall this morning. By permission of Col. Parsons, selections were played by the Duke of Wellington's Regimental Band under the direction of Bandmaster Hancock.  Others promising their services were Miss Dorothy Waller, Miss Abercrombie, and Miss Susan Briggs (vocalists), Miss Jowett (elocutionist), Mrs. Drury (pianist), and pupils of the Halifax High School, the latter giving national dances.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Soap and the War

From the Brecon County Times, 18th May 1916.

Soap and the War.

We were looking at the charming picture reproduced elsewhere in our columns by the makers of Puritan Soap.

“Curious, isn't it,” said my friend, the munitions expert, “how far reaching are the ramifications of this great world-war. Every pound of Puritan Soap sold means that the end of the war is so much nearer.”

“How do you make that to be,” said I, for it seemed a somewhat far-fetched statement.
“It's true enough,” said my scientific friend.  “Every ton of olive oil used for making Puritan Soap gives a couple of cwts. of glycerine, the base of cordite. Cordite, as everybody knows, is the chief propellant explosive used by Army and Navy alike.  A ton of olive oil gives glycerine for a ton of cordite or thereabout.  Practically the whole of the glycerine produced in the manufacture of Puritan Olive Oil Soap is refined and distilled by Christr. Thomas & Bros. Ltd., the makers, and used for explosives manufacture.”

“So that the housewife who buys Puritan Soap is not only getting the best soap that money can buy, but is helping to give the Government more glycerine and to pile up the munitions that are going to give us a glorious victory.”

“Exactly so,” said my friend, the expert.

[cwt. is the abbreviation for hundredweight, or 112 pounds.]

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Soap, Chewing Gum and the War on Dirt

From the Halifax Courier, 6th May 1916.

Pear's Soap
Wrigley's Chewing Gum
'Vim' scouring powder
[Most ads in newspapers made no reference to the war, but manufacturers of any product that could be sent to men at the front were keen to promote that idea in their ads.  And other ads, like the one for Vim,  imaginatively translated the war into a war on dirt. 

The Wrigley company was founded in the U.S. in  1891.  I don't know when Wrigley's chewing gum began to be sold in Britain,]   

Monday, 9 May 2016

Replenishing the Comforts Pool

From the Halifax Courier, 6th May 1916.

“Courier” Comforts Fund

W.R. Territorial Headquarters, York, May 4. 
Dear, Sir,—I am directed by Lord Scarborough to inform you that he has received a letter from the Director General of Voluntary Organisation stating that 1,057 pairs of socks and 114 shirts have been issued from their comforts “pool” in France to the 9th Bat. Duke of Wellington's W.R.R.  As this Committee have an arrangement with the above organisation to replace all articles issued from the “Pool” to West Riding Units, Lord Scarborough would be glad of any assistance your organisation can give towards replenishing the “pool.”—Yours faithfully,
W. MILDREN, Captain, for Chairman
West Riding War Fund Committee. 

This “Courier” Fund received the approval of the Assistant Director-General of Voluntary Organisations because it caters on set lines, so as not to clash with the Mayoresses’ Red Cross Fund in Halifax, or any other of the official organisations.  Those lines do not, as we have often said, include shirts or knitted goods, and we cannot depart from our understanding.  To this effect we have written Lord Scarborough.  Socks, shirts, or other knitted goods sent us are used among the prisoners and isolated soldiers, those who have not funds to fall back upon.  We are at the moment wanting 600 pairs of socks and as many handkerchiefs, and are hoping that lady readers all over the neighbourhood will set to work to supply these.

[This report shows Sir Edward Ward's scheme for a central comforts pool in action, but only partly working, because the West Riding War Fund Committee apparently did not know which local funds they should approach for new supplies of socks and shirts.  Presumably the workings of the scheme became smoother in time.] 

Careers For British Women.

From The Times, May 2nd 1916.


Princess Arthur of Connaught opened the British Women Workers' Exhibition yesterday afternoon at Prince's Skating Rink.  Princess Christian and the Duchess of Albany were among the morning visitors.

The MAYOR of WESTMINSTER.(Sir George Welby) spoke briefly on the new professions-opened to women.
Lady French was busy taking orders at her stall for her fund, which gives work to women unable to work long hours, in making socks and shirts for men at the front.  The Hon. Mrs. Oliphant-Murray, who was making known the Imperial Association for Assisting Naval and Military Officers to settle on the land, a cooperative and not a philanthropic scheme, had gifts for her stall from Princess Victoria and the Princess Royal.

Lady Lloyd-Mostyn was exhibiting for the Ladies’ Westminster Committee for the Relief of Belgians in Belgium; Princess Clementine of Belgium had worked a cushion-cover for the stall.  Queen Alexandra's School of Art Needlework (Sandringham) had a representative exhibit of table linen and lingerie.

The exhibition remains open until May 20.  Women signallers and women police are on duty all day.

[This is a very odd report, which seems to have almost nothing to do with new careers for women (apart from the women police & signallers), but mainly to be about an exhibition of handicrafts by upper class women.  Only Lady French's fund, as far as I can see, had any connection with war-work for women.] 

Lure of the Omnibus

From the Daily Mirror, 28th April 1916.


Women of All Classes Who Have Become Wartime Conductresses.

"Domestic servants to-day are very difficult to find, so many of them are becoming conductresses," was the woeful complaint of a mistress to The Daily Mirror yesterday.  So great is the lure of the omnibus for girl conductors that in one street in the Golders Green district recently seven servants gave their mistresses notice with the object of becoming conductresses.

"It certainly is a fact that of the 500 women conductors on our omnibuses to-day—and their numbers are increasing daily—more were formerly domestic servants and parlourmaids than in any other calling," commented an official of the London Omnibus Company.

"Thirty-eight per cent. of the total number represents their proportion.  Another ten per cent. were just 'at home' before the war.  A large percentage, too, were typists, shop assistants, waitresses and dressmakers, and some were in the postal service.  Then we have the wife of a major on active service among them, wives of schoolmasters are also serving.”

Friday, 6 May 2016

Women on the Land

From the Brecon & Radnor Express, 27th April 1916.

Women on the Land.



Radnorshire Women's Farm Labour Committee met at Llandrindod Wells on the 17th inst., Mrs C. Coltman Rogers presiding. …  Miss Strachan, of the Board of Trade, attended to explain the scheme of the registration of women workers on the land.  Mrs Coltman Rogers referred to the necessity of organising all available labour, to assist in the production of food supplies at this great crisis. 
Miss Strachan dwelt at some length on the subject in its various aspects.  One great difficulty was to convince farmers that women could render valuable services on the land.  She instanced what successful work was being done in other parts of the country, where a certain degree of prejudice existed in the minds of farmers twelve months ago.  The first step was to get the women of the villages and towns that were willing to offer their services as part or whole time workers enrolled, and most likely the demand for their assistance would come later when the scarcity of labour would be felt more acutely.  To do this thoroughly a house to house canvass should be carried out.  

Regarding the matter of wages she said that this would have to be dealt with locally, as conditions varied considerably in different districts.  She thought that 3d. an hour would be a fair average for casual, and from 12/- to 15/- a week for regular workers.  There should be training centres in the county, where those not accustomed to farm work could be trained in certain farming operation.  Possibly, some farmers would be found who would be willing to take a few women in to be trained for a short period, before being placed on farms as wage-earners.  Above all, the whole matter should be looked upon from a patriotic stand-point by both employers and employed.  She urged that all those present would take the work of canvassing their respective districts enthusiastically.  She was confident that the results would be astonishing, and that the difficulties which appeared almost unsurmountable at present would be overcome. 

A very interesting discussion followed, and it was resolved to hold public meetings throughout the county early in May.

[Since the start of 1916, there had been articles in local papers around  the country about the shortage of men to work on farms, because so many agricultural workers had been called up, e.g. here.  There was much discussion of how to get more women working on the land to replace them, but it seems that progress was difficult.  The wages offered may have been a significant problem - 3d an hour is very low.  (In other sectors, 6d an hour was thought of as a low wage.)  In unionised industries, there were agreements about what women replacing men should be paid (e.g. here),  but Miss Strachan seems to be suggesting that women should work for low wages out of patriotism - a difficult argument to make when women could work for higher wages elsewhere and feel themselves to be equally patriotic in doing the work of a man on active service.]

The Cinema And Crime

From the Cambrian Daily Leader, 27th April 1916.



At the annual meeting of the Carmarthenshire County Council at Llandilo on Wednesday…. a letter written by the late Sir Stafford Howard was read with reference to the recent conference at Cardiff with regard to cinema films.  [He was] convinced .. that the censorship in London was worth nothing.  There were complaints in many towns of the increase in juvenile crime, largely attributable to the cinema pictures.  Some of the pictures shown created an admiration for the criminal's skill and daring and a desire to follow his example.  He … suggested that in granting licenses the County Council should impose conditions affecting the subjects of films and rule out any exhibition tending to encourage or make light of immorality or crime.

The Chairman expressed the view that it would be a fitting memorial to the great services rendered by the late Sir Stafford Howard if the Council adopted his suggestion.  This was agreed to, and the matter of censoring films referred to a committee.


Juvenile Criminals Copy the Pictures.
Paris, April 26.-The pernicious influence of a certain class of cinematograph films which weave a halo of romance around the nefarious doings of burglars and thieves is attracting attention in Paris.
Recent captures of the French police reveal a tendency on the part of the young criminal class to dress in the smartest style and in general to copy the manners of the “gentleman” burglar type, so much in evidence nowadays in detective stories and in the picture palaces.

A band of burglars which the Paris police have just rounded up and which had concentrated its activities on the Opera quarter furnishes an example.

The members of this band were always dressed in clothes cut by the best tailors of Paris, with immaculate linen, and they never operated but in white kid gloves.  Their air of “men about town” and haughty demeanour imposed upon the concierges of the houses they “visited,” and allayed all suspicions.

19-year-old Leader.
To the magistrates who interrogated them they boasted of their knowledge of the psychology of their “profession,” which they said they had studied seriously, as they might have studied law or medicine.  The leader of the band is a young man of 19 years who had managed to obtain the complicity of a concierge or house porter.  The latter, after a certain burglarious exploit, cheated the young bandit of a sum of £16.

Disdaining the violent methods of revenge practised by the older “apache” class, this modern Bill Sikes preferred to invent a complicated story leading to the conclusion that the police were on the track of the band, and that the complicity of the concierge had become known.  Then the burglar chief intimated that with a thousand francs (£40) he could get the affair hushed up.  The frightened concierge paid up.  A day or two afterwards he received an elegantly-turned letter from the young man sarcastically explaining bow the £40 settled the little debt of £16.

[It seems incredible now that the silent films of 1916 should have seemed so realistic that they would inspire young people to imitate the crimes they showed, but clearly when films were new, they had a great impact. (And the older generation always thinks that the younger generation is going to the dogs - that was probably a factor, too.)]  

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Comforts for Halifax Lads Abroad.

From the Halifax  Courier, 22nd April 1916.

Our Lads Abroad. 

To-day there are 5,024 on “Courier” Comforts Fund—soldiers at the front, sailors on the sea, prisoners in Germany, and this district's men wounded or invalided.  We refer, of course, apart from the six local regiments (which we deal with in their entirety), to braves whose addresses have been sent us.  There may be some still not receiving, but if we are not informed of them how can we deal with them?

Latterly the classes of comforts asked for have turned in the direction of food or smoking material almost exclusively.  From innumerable officers and men, and letters, we learn that Government now keeps a very sharp eye on every man's outfit, and does him well.  This, for instance, is his kit: — 2 tunics, 2 pairs of trousers, great coat, cap, 2 towels, 3 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, muffler, 2 pairs of boots. 1 pair of shoes, 3 pairs of stockings.  The latter commodity is that which, issues apart, is most in demand, especially in bad weather periods.

The change that has come over the men's needs, therefore, makes our money go further, but we still have not enough of it, or we would send oftener to every man, as well as to every battalion more frequently.  The public should remember that we buy on the most favourable terms, and they can rely upon our judgment, because we know best the needs, through being in constant touch with those at the front.  ....

April 20, 1916. 
To Major A. Ellam,
2nd Duke of Wellington's Regt.
Dear Sir,
In the name of the inhabitants of this neighbourhood, it is a pleasure to advise you of the placing of orders for these goods by the “Halifax Courier” Comforts Fund, in accordance with your letter received on the 18th, in which you asked us to calculate on the basis of 900 men:—
3 cwts, of Fig Roll Biscuits.
2 cwts. of Fruit Biscuits.
3 cwts. of Ginger Snap Biscuits,
1,008 slabs of Chocolate.
900 tablets of Toilet Soap:
864 Shaving Sticks.
936 Writing Pads.
3,000 Cigarettes for the Officers.
33,000 Cigarettes for the Men.
100 lbs. Tobacco for the Men.
240 Pipes for the Men. 
As you were advised, £120 was set apart for this further consignment of comforts for your heroic regiment.  The actual expenditure is £116 11s. 9d., and we have still rail carriage to Southampton to pay.  All the goods have been bought on specially favourable lines.

We are also sending, direct from our office, a collection of socks, shirts, handkerchiefs, mittens, gloves, body belts, —  being the contributions of thoughtful ladies, and one is pleased to note this proof that many loving fingers keep busy upon wearables for the comfort of the braves.  Will you please, as a whole, accept this further contribution in token of this neighbourhood's gratitude to you all, and may God speed you in your undertaking.—Very sincerely yours,

Liberal Club, Greetland, April 19.
Dear Sir, —
We are sending you some cricket tackle for the Lads, and shall be very pleased if it will be of any use to you.  On behalf of the Club, yours, &c.  N. Rayner.

(The gift consists of a bag, 2 bats, ball, wickets and bails, stumping gloves, and a pair of pads.  We heartily thank the givers.)
We have also to thank Mr. Frank Greenwood, Shakespeare hotel, Halifax, for a set of bonzaline billiard balls.  On Tuesday we intimated that a soldier mentioned a table behind the line that could not be used because of want of balls.  Lovers of the game will realise what joy this gift will give.  Our correspondent was Pte. N. Atkin, 1930, Royal Horse Guards, and we shall take steps to secure that the kind donor shall hear direct from those who receive his handsome gift.


['cwt' is the abbreviation for 'hundredweight', 112 pounds or 50.8 kg.  A lot of biscuits.

Sending out the billiard balls, shows how static the Western Front had become.  People at home thought that it was worth sending out the billiard balls to make a billiard table behind the lines usable, because it was expected that there would be British troops based in the area for the foreseeable future.] 

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Women’s Work in War-time

From Halifax Courier, 15th April 1916.



With one exception, every area in the Elland Division was represented at the annual meeting of the Divisional Women's Liberal Association, at Hipperholme Liberal Club, on Saturday, Mrs. D. Stephenson {Stainland), the retiring president, presiding.

Mrs. R. S. Wood, the retiring secretary, presented the annual report, which is the 10th of its character.  The terrible war had proved to the men that the old legend that "men must fight and women must weep"' was passing away.  Women were doing more than weep.  They were taking their fair share of the burden, for Lord Kitchener had said that those who were making munitions of war were doing their duty to the State as well as those who were in the trenches, and Mr. Runciman had re-echoed that statement.  Women were taking the places of men in various trades, and were performing every kind of work of which their strength allowed.  The call for help from the farmers had already met with a hearty response.  Women loved England as the men loved it, she continued, and they were pouring into every trade and profession, and winning esteem for their self-sacrifice and devotion.  The capacity and self- sacrifice had been wonderful.

Take the nursing of the wounded, for instance.  High above them stood the figure of Miss Cavell, whose life for all time would stand as a heroic memory.  All through the profession great demands had been made for nurses, and no one outside the nursing profession would ever realise what were those first terrible weeks of the war.  Many ladies who were living luxurious lives came to help, and they were still working bravely and cheerfully at their tasks.  Many ladies had turned their homes into hospitals, equipping and maintaining them at their  own expense.

Then there was the great industrial world women had entered.  The girls who clipped their railway tickets, who told of train and the number of the platform, the women employed in the G.P.O., the factories and workshops, not only in the making of ammunition, but in many other occupations, were all doing their share in the great struggle.

And what would Lord Kitchener have done but for the socks, mufflers, etc., which the women sent in answer to his appeal?  How their knitting needles glinted in the 'bus, train, tram.  They all knitted for dear life.  The famous men in the papers made jokes about them, and the picture papers caricatured them; but the knitting pins never ceased, and Tommy had all the socks he needed till the hosiery factories were able to supply his needs.  Women had also done their share in providing comforts for the men in the fighting line, or who had been wounded.  As they looked over the past 12 months or so they not only realised how much they had done, but how much they had learnt; how their horizons had widened, and their sympathies deepened. They had enlisted in the service of their country, and had donned the whole armour of the social worker, and for as long as the country had need of them.

The report was unanimously adopted. ….Hearty votes of thanks to the retiring officers were accorded …, while a collection taken for the repatriation fund for Belgians abroad, realised £1 1s.

Later a profitable time was spent, when an address was delivered by Mrs: Stocks (Stainland), on "The child and the State."

[Stirring words, but it seems very unspecific for an annual report of an organisation like the Elland Women's Liberal Association.  I would have expected an account of what the women of the Association had been doing.  I very much doubt that any of them had  been making munitions or clipping tickets.  The paragraph on knitting socks seems much more likely, to me,  to reflect what the members had been doing for the war.]   

'Treating' Wounded Soldiers

From the Brecon & Radnor Express, 13th April 1916.




At Presteign Petty Sessions, on Tuesday in last week, before Mr Whitmore Green-Price (in the chair) and Mr J. H. Wale, the chairman referred to the practice of treating wounded soldiers with drink.  He said there was a voluntary aid hospital at Corton, under the Red Cross Association, and he thought it was generally known that it was an offence, under the Defence of the Realm Acts, to supply intoxicating drink to any soldier who might be there for the time being.  He was sorry to say that the law in this respect had not been kept at Presteign, and there were several cases at the hospital where these soldiers had obtained intoxicating drink and come back to the hospital in a certain state.  He thought it was playing the game very low down for any person to supply this drink.  These poor fellows came back to the hospital, after fighting for their country, and the ladies, who worked day and night and gave up the whole of their time to try and get the men properly cured, while some ill-disposed person, by giving these men drink, undid all the good these ladies did at the hospital.  He felt so strongly on the matter that he should be glad if anyone who saw this practice going on would inform the police, with a view to their being prosecuted.  If any person were brought before them, he should be only too glad to do all he could to make the punishment fit the crime.

Sergt. Higgins said the prohibition of the supplying of drink to these soldiers applied to any person, whether in a private house or a licensed victualler.

The chairman appealed to the public of Presteign to try and assist the police in every possible way in putting a stop to the practice.

['Treating', i.e. buying a drink for another person in a pub, had been outlawed, because of worries over drunkenness reducing productivity.  From this report, it seems that giving alcohol to convalescent soldiers was against the law, wherever it took place.  I imagine that some of the soldiers would have welcomed free drinks, but evidently that was seen by the police and magistrates as a reflection of their weak physical and mental state.]  

Friday, 22 April 2016

American Tea in Huddersfield

From the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 12th April 1916. 


The American Tea organised by the Huddersfield and District Women's Committee for Soldiers and Sailors, of which the Mayoress (Mrs. Blamires) is the president, held in the Town Hall on Tuesday afternoon, was the largest and most successful of these popular gatherings yet held in the Huddersfield district.  Well over a thousand persons were present and paid for tickets, and in addition donations amounting to about £30 were received.  The balcony and area were quite full.  The proceeds were in aid of the committee’s fund, and it is expected that a good balance will be handed over.  In accordance with the custom at these gatherings each person was requested to bring one article of not less value than 1s., and to buy one article, and brisk business was done at the stalls, at which fruit, flowers, groceries, cakes, and miscellaneous goods were sold.

While the ladies got on with their knitting three hours of good entertainment were enjoyed.  Mrs. Hull's Ladies' Orchestra played an excellent programme of selections.  Private Arthur played two items on the concertina, and had a very enthusiastic reception.  Sergeant Munday and Mr. Ernest Cooper played the accompaniments.  Children's dances were given by Miss Richardson's pupils.  The solo dances were taken by Misses Winnie Sizer, Mollie Richardson, Betty Haigh, and Molly Haigh. An excellent tea was provided.

[I guess that it was an  'American Tea' because of the bring-and-buy element.  The name 'American tea' seems to have disappeared long since, though bring-and-buy sales are still held, and used to be popular fund-raising events, I think - much classier than a jumble sale.] 

Thursday, 21 April 2016

A Missing Soldier

From the Halifax Courier, 8th April 1916.


Mrs. Baines of 23, Leymoor-road, Longwood, has received information that she has been awarded a pension from army funds from April 4 in respect of her husband, L.Cpl. George Baines, aged 29, of the West Yorkshire Regiment.  The notification states: “The change of payment must not be taken as indicating that there is any proof of the death of your husband.”  It was on Sept. 3, 1915, that Mrs. Baines was officially informed that her husband was missing after an engagement, the place and date of which were stated to be unknown.  Since that time she has naturally lived in suspense.  Lance-Corporal Baines enlisted in October, 1914, prior to which he was employed by the Longwood Engineering Co.  He formerly played football with the Parkwood United Methodist Church.  He left England in July last year for the Dardanelles, and his last letter to his wife was dated July 28.  Inquiries made of the American Ambassador brought the reply that the Turkish Foreign Office had no information of L. Cpl. Baines being a prisoner of war in that country.

[I have not written about casualties before, but this account is unusual in focussing on the effect on the family left at home.   

The story does not, of course, have a happy ending. The Commonwealth War Graves website records  Lance Corporal George Baines, aged 29, of the West Yorkshire Regiment, as one of the men killed during the Gallipoli campaign.  His name appears on the Helles Memorial to the nearly 21,000 men of the Commonwealth who died during the campaign and have no known grave.  

I don't know when Mrs Baines was told that he was presumed to be dead. We can only wonder when she stopped hoping to hear that he was still alive.]