Our £5000 "Campaign Comforts" Fund.
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Bulford A.S.C. Heads the Donations. 410 Cases Now Despatched. Increasing Number of A.S.C., M.T., Columns to be "Comforted."
Patroness: H.R.H. Princess Arthur of Connaught.
Ladies Committee, Mrs. S. S. Long (wife of the D. S. and T., War Office), Mrs. Shrapnell-Smith (wife of The Editor). Mrs, R. K. Bagnall-Wild (wife of a former Sec. M.T.C., War Office). Mrs. W. E. Donohue (wife of the war Office). Mrs. R. N. Foster (wife of the D.A.D.T., War Office).
Much of our space this week is—happily of necesa sity—devoted to a new list of donors of money. This concerns the receipts between the let and 15th mats. , inclusive. We have to hold over the further list, of gifts in kind (9th to 15th inst.). Whilst we do not in this issue bring the list of cash donations up-to-date, thc first line of the summary of totals which appear higher up on this page will show that additional progress has been recorded. A parcel from the Lady Mayoress of Birmingham is one of more than ordinary size and usefulness.
Interesting Communications from Donors.
We wish 'it were possible for us to make many extracts from the interesting letters which frequently accompany cheques and other remittances. We, however, this week make mention of three. The first, from Dr. G. B. Longstaff, of Putney Heath, S.W., covering his own cheque for 250 and one from. Mrs. Longstaff for 25, reminds us that in the year 1872 the Government resolved to supplement the permanent establishment of the Army Service Corps by contracting with Messrs. Pickford. Dr. Longstaff was then in the Oxford Volunteers, and recalls that the title of " Pickford's Light Horse" was frequently used, He will no doubt be interested to learn that many of Mes'srs. Pickford's motors are now in France. The second letter, to which we purpose referring, is from the headmistress of the Lambourn (Berks) Infant School, Miss V. M. M. Donaldson. She enclosed an interesting hand-painted programme, drawn by a little girl six years old named Winifred Castle, of a concert which these little ones gave in aid of our Fund. Miss Donaldson points out that their action was decidely unselfish, as the concert took the place of an annual treat to which the children look forward every year. The third letter is from Mr. Herbert Frood, managing director of the Herbert Frood Go., Ltd., Sovereign Mills, Chapel-en-le-Frith, covering a remittance of 250 from his company. Mr. Frood writes :—" I, like many others, cannot judge from anything we see in your paper in regard to the vast amount of trouble you and your people have undertaken in this matter, but I saw for myself the other
• day when I called. I compliment you on your modesty, and, having seen something of your efforts myself, very willingly send this subscription."
Coming In, or Staying Out ?
We should very shortly see completed the second 2100 of the five which are needed. A perusal of the list of donors, going back to the end of October last, discloses its highly-representative character. Practically no member of the industry who has given money to the only central fund for the A.S.C., M.T., is confining himself or his company, we feel sure, to e20
that effort alone. Their help is all the more gratifying to us, because we acknowledge freely that nearly all, if not all of them, are doing a great deal in other directions of which they have personal knowledge. The fact that, with almost no exceptions, the claims of our " Campaign Comforts" Fund have been recognized is the highest testimony that can be furnished to the fact that it fills a real want.
Of the 15,000 officers and men in France and Belgium, with the A.S.C., M.T., columns, certainly not fewer than 10,000 will come back to civilian activities and employment in commercial-motoring circles. They are now in touch with and using vehicles and supplies which the trade supporters of our Fund have helped to send out, and we are therefore the means of enabling those supporters to get in touch, as they could not otherwise do, with a large proportion of the men who are not personally known to them. It is only because we are working in the closest possible touch with the official personnel of the Army Service Corps, both in London and in France, that this exceptional position is enjoyed by us. We are now corresponding direct with 68 officers in command of M.T. columns at the Front, which fact enables us to ,safeguard ourselves and our friends against errors of consignment or losses of cases.
Where the Money is Going.
In ccanection with the .administration of any fund of this kind; no matter how satisfactorily financial support is forthcoming, it is no less important that adequate information should be promptly available as to the manner in which the other end of the scheme is being carried out. We have consistently adopted the policy of keeping subscribers to our Fun-d, and the public generally, furnished with the fullest possible particulars of the way in which such large numhers of gifts are being collected and purchased and subsequently distributed. The same parties can. see more, at these offices, if they wish.
The Increasing Work of Purchase and Distribution.
No amount of writing will convey adequately the actual extent of the growing amount of work which is involved in connection with the purchase and distribution of Campaign Comforts gifts. We wish it were possible for the whole of the subscribers to pay us a visit, with a view to investigating the work that is being done in our stores rooms and packing department, This would, however, not be desirable, from the point of view of interference with routine, however excellent the effect would be in emphasizing the amount of practical and systematic work which is being carried on.
A Visit which Resulted in a £50 Subscription.
One•da,7 last week the managing director of a big works in the North paid us a surprise visit, and we hustled him round the stores and despatch rooms, and showed him actually what was being done in the way of sending -out stuff to the A.S.C., M.T., and at the end of his flying visit he expressed himself astonished to find the extent of our labours, and delivered himself as follows : "You are too modest. You do not say enough in the columns of your paper as to what is being done. People I am sure do not realize the extent of the distribi:tion side of the fund." As evidence of his appreciation, as readers will have
gathered from the previous,page. the Comforts Fund is now the richer by £50.
. Rapidly Growing Totals.
The interesting totals which head the present article are the best evidence we can adduce of the progress we are making. We regard it as the strongest appeal that can be made for support, to keep the public advised of how the fund is being administered. The totals shown in the table to which we refer are surely sufficient for this purpose. We continue to have acknowledgments from the Front, but space forbids our reproduction of many more of them. Suffice it to say that we are satisfied that our method of distribution, coupled with the good will of the A.S.C. officials, as well as of the W.D. headquarters itself, is ensuring success, and tl_at everybody may be quite satisfied that the money which is being subscribed is being expended upon gifts which are actually getting to the men whom they wish to "comfort."