Fundraising for Christmas
The Saturday edition of the Richmond & Twickenham Times on 9 December 1916 was backing the campaign for the Christmas Comforts Fund.
The fund provided Christmas gifts to the wounded servicemen in hospitals around Richmond. Nearly 1,400 gifts had already been supplied to the Star & Garter Home, Richmond Military Hospital, the South African Hospital and St Mary’s Hampton, as well as to Red Cross Hospitals in Richmond, Hanworth, and Syon.
As well as individual contributions, various groups and clubs sent in donations including Marble Hill hockey club and the Twickenham Rovers. The Middlesex Wanderers FC auctioned a piece of trench art sent home by the club president, Lieutenant Horace Alaway. He had made a letter-opener out of a French bullet and a piece of German shell casing recovered from the Somme battlefield.
The Castle Assembly Rooms (across from the present-day Museum of Richmond on Whittaker Avenue) were to send in the proceeds of a Tea Dance being held that day. The owner, Mr Howitt, had already donated 1,000 cigarettes to be given to the wounded. During the war, cigarettes were considered to be an essential home comfort.