Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Bedfordshire Regiment Comforts Fund

Lt-Col. Reginald Le Huquet © IWM (HU 124051)

Thursday 29th November 1917: Colonel Tilly, the Honorable Secretary of Lady Ampthill’s Comforts Fund for the Bedfordshire Regiment received the following letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Reginald Le Huquet, written on 25th September:
“Dear Colonel Tilly, You were asking me whether I had any suggestions to make about Christmas presents for the men this year. Last year I was with our –th Battalion, and the arrangements you made then were excellent in every way. If you are able to do the same this year I think you will find it very difficult to improve on these arrangements. The gifts were distributed on Christmas Day, and the men were told that they were presents from the people of Bedfordshire, and I can assure you these gifts were very much appreciated. Very many thanks for your offer of footballs and cigarettes. We could do with six footballs if you can spare this number, with a few extra bladders, and cigarettes are of course welcome at all times.”
The Fund was able to fulfil his wishes and Lt-Colonel Le Huquet has sent a further letter in which he thanks Colonel Tilly and requests a large number of socks:
“The footballs arrived the day we came out of the line, and today I have given, as a first issue, 50 cigarettes to every man in the Battalion, saying that they are from the Comforts Fund, Bedford, and I can assure you they are very much appreciated, and on behalf of all ranks I thank you very much indeed for your very kind gift. Football at present is in full swing, and your gift of footballs was more than acceptable. We all appreciate more than I can say your kindness to us all, and if funds are available, and if I am not asking too much, do you think you could manage to let me have 600 pairs of socks? The winter is more or less on us now, and we have the mud and water to contend with. My aim in the trenches is always to be able to give every man of an evening a dry and clean pair of socks, and if I have an extra pair a man this would make things very much easier.”
Source: Bedfordshire Standard, 30th November 1917

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