Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Moonraker

Villagers' food parcels to PoWs

Recommended Posts

Moonraker

I've been puzzling over these two cards sent by Privates E J Townsend 8399 and C Hayward 8833 of the 2nd Wiltshire Regiment.

 

2022255973_PoWcards.jpg.bb8df1acf03574c55f7181691c73f430.jpg1953167903_PoWcardsreverse.jpg.ab059e97173a182851dcf53d54c1e0ca.jpg

The dates are difficult to decipher, but I think they are late 1917 and early 1918. The addresses are in the same hand and I presume these were written by one of the 200-odd people of Winterbourne Monkton, perhaps James Peak-Garland himself, who was at West Farm. (The village is equidistant by road from Swindon and Marlborough, and the discrepancy in addresses may be explained by a change in postal sorting offices for the village.)

 

I'm aware of regimental organisations at home that sent parcels to their PoW members, but I hadn't been aware of such localised acknowledgements  being sent. (I have one acknowledgement sent to the Prisoners of War Association in Salisbury.)

 

Presumably the Red Cross supplied these cards to the organisations, who distributed them to local villages and towns which would then assembly parcels of goodies (not perishables, given the time it took to get the parcels to the camps) and include a card.

 

I don't think that Townsend and Hayward had any connection with Winterbourne Monkton. But somewhere along the line there must have been a system (presumably operated by the Red Cross) to ensure that a parcel from Wiltshire got to members of the county regiment. (Though, as we know, such units' ranks soon became filled by men from all over the country.)

 

Does anyone else know of food parcels from very small communities?

 

Moonraker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
clk

Hi Moonraker,

 

As an aside to your question...

 

2 hours ago, Moonraker said:

The addresses are in the same hand and I presume these were written by one of the 200-odd people of Winterbourne Monkton, perhaps James Peak-Garland himself...

 

Initially I thought so, but on reflection I think that there is too much of a difference in the construction of the capital letters 'J'. 'P', and 'G'  in how he completed the 1911 census return.

 

image.png.dd1fb10c51131f57dd60eccaba6aed76.png

image.png.f43a770e05ace0592cdd8d4c9a95507f.png

Census images from Ancestry.co.uk

 

[His eldest son George seems to have been 'B' Squadron Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry; commissioned Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers ; KIA 'D' Coy. 11th Bn 7.6.1917].

 

Regards

Chris

image.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonraker
19 hours ago, clk said:

[His eldest son George seems to have been 'B' Squadron Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry; commissioned Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers ; KIA 'D' Coy. 11th Bn 7.6.1917].

Thanks, Chris, you do seem to have ruled James out as the person who filled in the addresses. He appears to have moved from Heddington to Winterbourne Monkton before the war. A number of cards relating to the family were sold on eBay last year, including those presumably showing the RWIY camps that George had attended.
 

See here

 

It would be interesting (if only slightly so!) to know the logistics of how parcels were prepared locally and passed through the Red Cross to the recipients. There are details of the contents
 

here

 

Moonraker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Keith_history_buff

I came across something similar in the digitised newspapers that are made freely available by the National Library of Wales in respect of collections being made for men of the SWB. I wonder if British Newspaper Archive or similar is able to throw up similar articles?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonraker

Keith

 

Thanks for reminding me of the invaluable NLW archive which previously has produced useful info on Welsh units on Salisbury Plain. Searching it for "food parcels prisoners" produced 447 hits. A brief glance suggests that individual PoWs were adopted by people back at home.

 

Moonraker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...