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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

POW Local Care Associations


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According to The Handbook to the Work, Constitution and Rules of the Central Prisoners of War Committee, published in 1917, a copy of which can be found at the National Archives under their reference: FO 383/352, there were a total of 260 POW Care Committees, consisting of 248 British Regimental Care Committees, 11 Colonial & Indian Care Committees and 1 Civilian Care Committee. There is also a separate list of all these Committees under the reference mentioned above. The handbook also mentions 172 Local Associations; but unfortunately these are not listed.

I have also come across references that when the Central Prisoners of War Committee was set up in late 1916 and with the passing of the related War Charities Act in the same year, some attempt was made to list all local associations. A newspaper report stated that there were over 1, 000 such committees and there was supposedly a list of approved local association published in connection with the Act mentioned above.

Can anybody supply any references to where I might find further references or lists of these associations.



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From Cyril Falls:-

It is fitting to add a note with regard to an organization which was throughout the war in close touch with the Regiment - the Ulster Women's Gift Fund. This was formed in August, 1914, for the purpose of supplying comforts to the men of the three Ulster Regiments - Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Royal Irish Fusiliers, Royal Irish Rifles - an active service, as well as to the North Irish Horse and to Ulster soldiers in other units.

The beginnings were small, but as more and more battalions entered the field, the work and the staff steadily increased. All the work of packing and administration was carried out by voluntary helpers, of whom a number, during the last two years of the war, devoted the whole of their time to the work. At the end of the war there were over four hundred such voluntary helpers.

The people of Ulster supported the enterprise well, over £120,000 being raised in the Province for this Fund alone, which thus had no need to look to the British Red Cross or any other society for assistance.

When the first news of prisoners arrived, it was realized that a new and most important branch of work would devolve upon the Fund. As names and addresses came through, they were entered on the lists, and each man thenceforward received fortnightly parcel till the end of the war.

When, late in 1916, the Central Prisoners of War Committee in London reorganized the despatch of parcels, the two Regular battalions were taken over by that committee. The Ulster Women's Fund continued to supply the prisoners of other battalions and the other Ulster regiments. That it had plenty of work upon its hands is shown by the fact that, at the date of the Armistice, the Fund was packing and despatching six hundred parcels a day. It also continued to send comforts to the 1st and 2nd Battalions, as well as the rest.


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I have a copy of an eight page booklet with the following rather long title: "Revised List of Funds and Organisations for the benefit of British Prisoners of War in Germany at present known to the Prisoners of War Help Committee". It is dated July 1915 and lists the names of the funds/organisations and the address of the person/committee responsible.

If you PM me with your email I'll see if I can send you a copy.


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Desmond7 and Aled,

Thank you for your replies. It shows the information is out there.

I must admit that most of my research time is focused towards the National Archives and this looks like this could be a subject where the answers like elsewhere.



PS: Aled, have sent you a PM.

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