Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Mouth Organs and Cap Covers

From the Glasgow Herald, 12th January 1915.

Foes to Depression—Captain Vaughan, of the 2nd Battalion Warwickshire Regiment, Expeditionary Forces, in a letter to Birmingham appeals for what he describes as one or two little luxuries.  He says that life in the trenches is not the height of luxury, but the men don't mind that and never grumble. “As I go down the trenches,” he writes, “I frequently get asked the time, or again hear the remark. ‘Wish we had a few mouth organs.’'  To be able to know the time and to be able to have impromptu sing-songs are very great foes to depression and boredom.  Will some one send us some mouth organs (of the Vampire variety) and a few cheap watches?  We shall be more than grateful.”

71st Heavy Battery.—Mrs Malcolm of Poltalloch, Kilmartin, Argyll, has issued an appeal for waterproof cap covers for the men of the 71st Heavy Battery, now under orders for the front, commanded by her son-in-law, Major Barne, R.A.  These covers are the greatest comfort to men campaigning in bad weather, as they protect the back of the neck from rain, etc.  There are 220 men in the Battery, and the cost of supplying each man with a cap cover would amount to the sum of £20.  Mrs Malcolm will be glad to receive donations.

 [There were a number of appeals for mouth organs for soldiers at the front.  Mrs. Malcolm's appeal for cap-covers is one of those slightly baffling bits of private enterprise, where you wonder why the men weren't being sent out better prepared for bad weather.]

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