RUGBY PRISONERS OF WAR RELIEF FUND.
WHAT TO SEND AND HOW TO PACK IT.
A meeting of the committee recently appointed to take over this fund was held at the Benn Buildings, on Thursday evening, the Chairman, Mr W Flint, C.C, presiding. It may be mentioned that the fund, which has hitherto been collected and administered by Mrs Blagden, will now be managed by this committee, which is quite a representative one.
It was decided to call the fund “ The Prisoners of War Help Committee (Rugby Branch).”
Mrs J H Lees (wife of the Rev J H Lees, Baptist Church) and Mr F R Davenport (General Manager of Messrs Willans & Robinson, Ltd) were co-opted on the committee.
The Hon Secretary (Mr J Reginald Barker) reported that he had been able to obtain considerable information as to articles required by our soldiers who were prisoners of war in Germany, and also special directions for packing and despatching the same, which he explained to the meeting.
Mr Barker said a new order had just been issued to the effect that tin boxes containing food or cigarettes, tin covers of boxes, or tin in any form whatever, is not allowed to be sent to prisoners of war. Any parcels containing tin will in future be refused and the parcel confiscated. Fresh fruit and meat cannot be sent.
On no account must letters or newspapers be enclosed in parcels.
Parcels under 11lbs in weight must be sent by post, and there would be no charge for postage.
Arrangements had been made with the American Express Co, Haymarket, S.W, for the transportation of packages exceeding 11 lbs and up to 112 lbs in weight. There would be no charge for transport, provided special labels were used, and the parcels would be received at any railway parcels office, and forwarded to London and then to Germany free of charge. A receipt will be sent from London for all parcels despatched.
In the present circumstances no guarantee can be given of the delivery of any parcel to the person to whom it is addressed, but it is believed that the arrangements made are the most secure that are possible and there is every confidence that, saving accidents, parcels will be properly delivered, provided they are packed and despatched in accordant with the rules laid down.
The time taken for transmission of a parcel varies according to the situation of the camp in which the addressee is interned, and may be estimated at from 15 to 18 days. As it takes about three weeks for letters to arrive here from Germany, it will be seen that the receipt of a parcel cannot be acknowledged under five or six weeks at the earliest.
SUGGESTED LIST OF ARTICLES TO BE SENT.
Bread is much asked for and needed by British prisoners in Germany, but some of the bread sent even before it leaves England is in bad condition, and delays on the journey make it uneatable before it reaches the prisoners. Bread for sending to prisoners must be extra well-baked, not too light, and must be quite cold before being packed. It should not be packed in tins which exclude all air, but each loaf should be carefully wrapped in paper, grease-proof if possible, then placed in corrugated cardboard or a stout cardboard box. At present parcels (under 11 lbs) sent by parcel post in most cases reach their destination in a shorter time than parcels sent by other agencies, which is an advantage to be considered in sending bread.
Other articles of food which will be most acceptable are :- Tea, biscuits, cocoa, cheese (small whole cheeses are best), sugar, chocolate, cake, milk tablets, chocolate, cocoa milk and sugar (in cubes), crushed oats, dried peas, lentils, soup packets, dried vegetables, dried fruits (apples, French plums, raisins, etc), meat paste and essences.
Miscellaneous articles such as : Tobacco, plug twist and cigarettes, packs of cards and games, ordinary washing soap, papier mache plates and cups, tooth brushes, carbolic soap, shaving brushes.
Articles for personal use : Hair brushes and combs, handkerchiefs, pencils, outer clothing (for civilians only), needles and thread, buttons, underclothing.
Books (in separate parcels). Books must not have any reference to the war or political subjects, or any matter offensive to Germany.
The committee will be grateful for gifts of any of the articles of food mentioned in the schedule. Gifts in kind may be left at the Rectory at any time, and any article mentioned in the Hon Secretary’s report will be welcomed. Subscriptions should be sent to either of the Hon Treasurers—Mrs Blagden, The Rectory, or Mr C J Newman, Henry Street—and will be duly acknowledged.
The committee earnestly hope that any person knowing of any prisoner of war whose relations cannot afford to send comforts, will let the Hon Secretary, Mr J R Barker, 9 Regent Street, have full details of his address.
New regulations have been issued from German headquarters which order that all prison camps in Germany shall conform to uniform rules.
The camp is to be in a healthy locality, special care is to be taken in regard to questions of sanitation and hygiene, and adequate washing and bathing facilities are to be provided.
Officers buy their food and clothing and it is to be provided in proper variety and at reasonable prices. N.C.O’s and men have three meals a day, consisting of : Morning, coffee, tea, or soup ; noon, plentiful fare of meat and vegetables ; night, substantial plain meal.
The meals must be sufficient for proper nourishment, and Commandants are authorised to increase the amount of meat or vegetables if required. The same amount of bread is to be provided as for German soldiers.
In canteens at each camp food and underclothing can be purchased at fixed low prices.
Parcels from home containing food and tobacco are allowed.
Clothing will be provided if and when needed.
Prisoners are allowed to write one letter a fortnight and one postcard a week. Officers limited to letters of six pages and men to four pages. In special urgent circumstances of business or family affairs exceptions may be allowed.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
THANKS FROM PRISONERS OF WAR.
DEAR SIR,—Many thanks for inserting my letter in your paper, for I have this week received a parcel of food from some very kind friends of Rugby, who request that my communication to them should be made through the same periodical, so I should be very thankful if you would again insert the following :—Dear Rugby friends, we, Pte Grant and Pte Payne, wish to thank you for your kindness in sending so promptly to our help, parcels which we accept with the sincerest gratitude, and we are very glad to know that we still have someone who thinks of us a little, and should the time come when we can return this kindness, we shall think it a grateful occupation.-We remain, Your sincere friends,
T GRANT AND G F PAYNE.
No 1417 Pte T Grant,
2nd Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
Gefangenlager, Altdamm, Germany.
A CLUB-FOOTED RECRUIT.
Charles Henry Maynard, of 8 Victoria Street, New Bilton, a machine-minder at Messrs Frost & Sons’ Printing Works, has for some time felt that he would like to “ do his bit ” for his country, but he regarded himself as physically unfit by reason of a congenital club-foot. However, he recently wrote a personal letter to Lord Kitchener at the War Office expressing his earnest wishes, and pointing out that, although club-footed, he could box, swim, run, walk, cycle, etc. He made out as good a case for himself as possible, which was only natural, he being very anxious to get into the army, and a few days later—as the result of the communication to headquarters-a recruiting sergeant called upon him and, acting on his advice, Maynard enlisted in the R.A.M.C. He left his home for Salisbury Plain to commence training on Tuesday morning. The enterprising recruit had, of course, to satisfy a doctor that was physically sound, save for the foot, and his ambition for a military life was doubtless influenced by the fact that he has two brothers in the service—one being in the navy and the other in the army, the latter being a lance-sergeant with the Territorial force in India. Mr Maynard came to Rugby from Croydon six years ago. He has a wife and three children. He is ambitious to merit promotion and his future career will be watched with interest by those who know him, all of whom will wish him well.
RECRUITING AT RUGBY.
Recruiting has been somewhat slacker at Rugby during the past week. The following have been accepted :—H H F Cleaver, 213th Fortress Company, R.E ; C H Maynard, R.A.M.C ; P Cleaver, C E Jenkins, and H L Benjamin, R.W.R ; E Hackleton and D T Cousins, Oxon and Bucks L.I.
VOLUNTEER TRAINING CORPS AT WARWICK PARK.
During the past week the 2nd Battalion Warwickshire Regiment of the V.T.C have been encamped in Warwick Park, under the command of Lieut-Colonel Johnstone. The camp commenced on Saturday, when about 250 men went under canvas, each man being responsible for his own expenses. A detachment attended from Rugby, under the command of Mr C H Fuller, commandant ; and a number of these made the journey by train, under Sergt Yates, and the remainder marched, under Mr Robinson. The latter party arrived at Leamington in time to accompany the Leamington members to the Park, via the Old Road. Very useful work has been accomplished by the members, who paraded three times daily for about two hours, the reveille sounding at 5 a.m. Company and Battalion drills, each ending with an attack, have been held, and the members have also been practised in trench and field work, and mounting guard. On Bank Holiday sports were arranged, but owing to the heavy downpour in the morning and the storms of the afternoon the attendance fell considerably below expectations. There were, however, a fair number of visitors to the camp. The Rugby members were well represented among the prize-winners. Messrs W T Sidwell and Bell won their respective heats in the 100 yards race, and in the final Mr Sidwell finished second, and Mr Bell, who lost considerable ground through slipping at the start, third. There were a good number of entries for the N.C.O’s race, in which Mr W H Cluett finished second. Messrs Sidwell and Whitworth finished first in the three-legged race. Rugby did fairly well in the tug-of-war, registering a surprising win over Leamington 4, after two good pulls, in the first round. Owing to lack of weight, however, they were defeated in the second round by Knowle. A great feature was the officers’ race, which ended in a popular victory for the Colonel.—The weather during the week-end was not at all what could have been desired, but, on the whole, a very pleasant and instructive time was spent. The majority of the Rugby members left on Tuesday, but several remained for the whole week. The other local officers present were: Messrs Gough, Robinson, and Alderson.
THE FRIENDS of Sergt Martin, of the 7th K.R.R, who, as recorded in a recent issue of Advertiser, died from wounds sustained in action on July 1st, have received official intimation from the Army Council, and also a letter through Lord Kitchener, expressing the true sympathy of the King and Queen for them in their sorrow. Lieut-Col Rennie, the C.O of the Regiment, also writes :-” I am extremely sorry to have to tell you that your son, Sergt Martin, died of wounds the day after he was hit by a shell in the head. I can only offer you my deepest sympathy for a loss that cannot be replaced. He died a noble soldier’s death in action. He is a great loss to the battalion, and had been doing very well indeed.”
THE ROLL OF HONOUR.
5th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, who, as we reported in our last issue, has been awarded the D.C.M for gallantry in action, is an Old Murrayian. He formerly belonged to the Rugby “ E ” Co, R.W.R, and was one of the famous machine-gun section known as “ The Mad Eight.”