Our £5000 "Campaign Comforts" Fund.
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£1675 More Received to Saturday Last than there then Remained to be Obtained. List of Individual Donors of One Per Cent. now Includes 21 Names. Result of First L.G.O.C. Garage Collections. Have You Got a Large Collecting Card ? 5000 A.S.C. (M.T.) Men Get Only is. 2d. a Day.
The additional cash donations for last week totalled
132 15s. 9d. We are, unable, with only two pages at our disposal to deal with the Comforts Fund, to give the list of collections in detail this week. They will be included next week, and they will also, of course be included in the announcements of the donations for the month of February which will appear in certain London and other daily papers this week. We may Observe that the result of the first L.G.O.C, collections, so far as they were reported up to Saturday last, was 55 Ms. id., which sum is merged with the accompanying total of the proceeds of collecting cards. We hope to include the individual totals for the respective garages in our issue of next week.
We shall be glad to issue a large collecting card, ruled either for 343 names or 120 names, to any applicant. Owners of fleets or their foremen will be doing the Fund a good turn if they arrange to place one of these in their depots, and to invite consideration for its claims from their staffs.
Should Men of the A.S.C., M.T., Get Anything?
We have been sorry to find a certain number of people who think that the men of the A.S.C., M.T., are so well paid that they should get nothing. We believe, as a matter of fact, that our Fund has suffered in respect of donations which might otherwise have reached it, by reason of credence for this opinion. It is overlooked by people who raise these criticisms, and who frequently are doing nothing themselves for any war fund, that fully 6000 men of the M.T. columns are in receipt only of is. 2d, per day. It iS true that the drivers and relief-drivers get 6s. a day, but our gifts are sent to all indiscriminately. Is it a. great matter, we ask, that a man should receive from a central fund, such as the one for which we are responsible, gifts to the value of, say, 5s. net, over a period of perhaps six months, even if he is getting a relatively-high rate of pay for the Army ? It is not as though the men in the ordinary regiments were neglected. There are so many general funds, and so many thoughtful wives and relations of officers in each cavalry or infantry regiment, that we can confidently state that the men of. none of the regiments of the line, nearly all of which have associations with one particular district, are going short.
We particularly ask attention to the fact that the A. S.C. has no territorial connection ; its various units are not named according to this county or that town. They suffer in a sense from this lack of territorial identification, and we have found this fact an undoubted disadvantage in conducting our Fund for the benefit of the M.T. men. If the men in the trenches were going short, we might well consider that the argument to which we refer deserved to carry some weight, despite the fact that the men of the A.S.C., ALT., are" carrying the stuff" to those men. Whilst some of the drivers who are getting Os. a day could no doubt afford to order little comforts for themselves, and perhaps do so, gifts from our Fund are received with the utmost keenness and enjoyment, and are valued very much more highly than their intrinsic worth might at first sight suggest. We hope that any of our readers who have let the claims of other soldiers come before those of the A.S.C., MT., will not fail to take to heart the points which we raise in answer to their somewhat-laboured objections, and will not avail themselves of so feeble an excuse to leave out the men of the motor transport.
The Committee Watches the Packing.
It has been a busy week once more in the packing and despatching departments of the Fund, and it was perhaps fortunate in that respect that the members of the Ladies Committee decided that they would like to make a. first-hand acquaintance with this most arduous branch of the work, which is being carried out by the aid of such a willing band of volunteers. After this intimation had been received it was decided to make last Friday's packing night a comprehensive demonstration of the " C.M. Fund's activities, and we were happy to have a visit from a party, which, in addition to the Committee, included Brigadier-General S. S. Long, A.S.C., Director of Supplies and Transport, Major H. N. Foster A.S.C., Deputy Assistant Director of Transport, dr. H. E. Blain, Operating Manager of the London General Omnibus Co., Ltd., and Miss Donohue.
As it happened that particular evening turned out to be a record one in the matter of cases packed and despatched, no fewer than. 69 complete consignments being prepared for collection by the railway company on the following morning.
10,772 Pairs of Gloves Bought..
We have now completed...our purchases of gloves, and sufficient, have been acquired to send two pairs cut to every three men of the total A.S.C., M.T. personnel at the Front at the present time. It has been no mean task, the selection and purchase of close on 11,000 pairs of gloves of high quality, and at as low a price as possible, huff from reports from recipients and from conversations with officers home on leave, we are gratified to be able to record the definite opinion that we do not think we could have done better in respect of these particular purchases.
A28 Goodbye to the Body Belt., The time will soon be coming when it will be useless to send out any more woollen comforts. As we recorded in our last issue, the day of the body belt is past, no far as we are concerned, although we anticipate that we shall for many weeks to come continue to receive consignments from those who commenced being busy with woollen gifts of this kind long before they became, aware of our notification with regard to this particular class of knitted goods.
" Give 'em Socks" in the Summer.
Naturally we shall have to modify very considerably our programme of purchases for spring and summer as compared with those which have done so well during the severe winter, which before long will be drawing to a close—at least we hope so. This new schedule of purchases, to which of course will be added numberless suitable gifts, is not definitely settled, but at the present time it has been decided by the Committee that the principal purchases during the milder months of the year will consist of socks, towels, and handkerchiefs, so far as soft goods arc concerned.
Such comforts as medical stores, dubbin, bull'seyes, etc., etc. we shall continue to send out as occasion offers, and we presume we are correct in surmising that when should the temperature, at some distant date, rise to anything in the neighbourhood of 100 degrees in the shade men of the Transport Columns and Ammunition Parks will still want equipment for games, and we are afraid we must confess mouth-organs also.
The Quality of the Gloves.
"I wish to thank you on behalf of those who were fortunate enough to receive the last two cases of gloves, which are apparently of exceptional quality and likely to last for some time. "The good work of the Campaign Comforts Fund is becoming as well known to the individual lorry driver as it is already to the A.S.C., M.T., officers throughout. The arrivalof one a your cases of gifts is hailed with considerable enthusiasm."—O.C. Amm. Park.
Cases are Never Scrapped.
"It may interest you to know that of the eases containing your very acceptable gifts, forwarded to my unit, none has been scrapped. "I have had each one fitted with a padlock and hinges and they are now continuing a life, so usefully begun, in various capacities in workshop and column. The luggage carrier on my own Sunbeam carries one of your cases, which I use as an extra stationery box."
111.1 Corps Troops, Sup. Col.