Sunday, 17 January 2016

1,600 Pairs of Socks Wanted

From the Halifax Courier, 15th January 1916.

1,600 Pairs of Socks Wanted.

The Necessity for District Co-ordination.

The 8th Duke of Wellington's Regiment, in which are some 800 local men, is receiving the anxious consideration of the "Courier" Comforts Fund.  As soon as we can muster enough things for them, a consignment will be dispatched.  And how, if rumour be true, they must need all the aid we can render them.  They have been so isolated, said one Halifax mother’s son yesterday, that they could get little to eat, and many of them have gone pitifully thin.  Owing to their remote location. and the difficulty of reaching them with certainty, we were officially advised not to send them Xmas goods.  And, instead of £100, we have come to feel that £150 would be little enough to spend on them, and as we understand the Regiment has not been supplied from any source outside Government, we respectfully intimate a wish to send out to them, besides some other comforts to the value stated, 2 pairs of socks for each man, and as many shirts as can be got together in the next few days.  Ladies and sympathisers are invited to act quickly please: we can, of course, give them a few days in which to bring in their contributions.

This is the list, and the order of other regiments to be supplied with comforts from the Fund (our phases of comforts only):—
5th Battery, 2nd West Riding Brigade.
2nd W.R.R., Duke of Wellington's.
1/4th   ,,   ,,   ,,   ,,   ,,   ,,   ,,
10th   ,,   ,,   ,,   ,,   ,,   ,,   ,,
9th   ,,   ,,   ,,   ,,   ,,   ,,   ,,
8th and 9th Cavalry Field Ambulance. 
Every week as the state of the Fund will allow:—
Over 1,000 isolated sailors and soldiers.
180 of the neighbourhood's prisoners. 
These latter rely solely upon this Fund so that we do not draw any line as to the nature of the comforts we send them.

We have only one further word to offer—will all Red Cross and similar societies, as well as working parties, assist in making the various consignments fully representative of the neighbourhood, seeing the Fund is catering for each unit completely, and not to individuals.  We are officially advised that this is the best way, and have been asked to induce local societies to send goods only through the two local channels —the Mayoress’s Committee Wards End, or the “Courier” Fund.

[The 8th Battalion of the West Riding Regiment (aka the Duke of Wellington's Regiment) had been raised in Halifax as part of Kitchener's New Army, back in 1914.  They had been in Gallipoli from August 1915, until they were withdrawn in December, (see here for the WW1 record of the regiment).  At this point in 1916, the same site says that they were at Imbros, which seems to have been the base for the Expeditionary Force to the eastern Mediterranean, and so they would have been able to write home and supplies of comforts could reach them.  'If rumour be true' presumably refers to the fact that the Gallipoli campaign was pretty much a disaster for the Allies.

I don't know what 'Wards End' means, in connection with the Mayoress's Committee.]     

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