Belgravia War Hospital Supply Depot newspaper, September 1918
3 MONTHLY RECORD. September, 1918
CARNIVAL AND FETE. The Carnival and Fete organised by the Evening Workers' Branches of the Depot, under the distinguished patronage of H.R.H. Princess Christian, Field-Marshal H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught, K.G., the Right Hon. Viscount Milner, P.C., G.C.B., G.C.M.G., General Sir William Robertson, G.C.B., K.C.V.O., D.S.O., Lieut.-Gen. Sir Francis Lloyd, G.C.V.O., K.C.B., D.S.O., and Col. Sir Edward Ward, Bart., K.C.B., K.C.V.O., was held in Belgrave Square Gardens on Saturday, September 14th. Although the weather could hardly have been worse, the fete was well attended, and to those who were fortunate enough to be there, presented a most attractive scene, and reflected great credit upon the honorary organiser, Mr. Percy Hawke.
Fortunately the weather had been provided against, and tea, dancing and competitions were arranged in large marquees.
There was a splendid exhibition of boxing, wrestling and swordsmanship by H.M. 3rd Batt. Scots Guards, feats of swordsmanship by Sergt. Egleton, sword v. bayonet by Co.-Sergeant-Major Reid v. Corpl. King, vaulting the horse display by Instructors H.M. Brigade of Guards, grand bayonet display by H.M. 3rd Batt. Scots Guards, a grand boxing display by the famous Spiers' Twin Midgets, and wrestling by well-known performers, were great attractions of the afternoon.
A delightful concert was given by Madame Ghita Corri, Prima Donna Italian Opera, assisted by her famous pupils, which was much enjoyed.
There were endless sources of amusement in the various side-shows, including hat trimming, "Cries of Old London Streets," wheel of fortune (under the direction of Miss Phyllis Broughton), "A Little Game" (directed by Miss Vane Featherston [Feather-ston]), "Breaking up the Happy Home," Royal Punch and Judy Show, Houp-La, Aunt Sally, Cocoa-nut Shies, Electric Fish-pond, etc., etc., etc. During the afternoon there was a march past of a procession of fancy costumes, which were judged by the Countess of Portarlington. First prize was a tie between two very original dresses representing "The Allotment" and "War Bonds." Cheerful music was discoursed by the band of H.M. Scots Guards, the band of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, the band of 4th Batt. Middlesex Volunteer Regiment, and the Canadian Military Choir gave a very attractive programme.
A very good tea and delicious refreshments were served in the "Allies' Tea Hut" under the management of Mr. J. Nettelfield, who is to be congratulated on the success of his arrangements. It would take more space than we have at our disposal to give an adequate account of the afternoon, which was one series of delightful enjoyment from beginning to end. Lieut.-Gen. Sir Francis Lloyd, G.C.V.O., K.C.B., D.S.O., was present and distributed the prizes. The thanks of the General Committee are due to the representatives of the business houses who gave time and generous contributions to make the success of the day.
At a Meeting of the Executive Committee held on July 31st, it was decided that a uniform should be adopted for the workers of the Belgravia War Hospital Supply Depot. This uniform is not compulsory. It may be worn only by Officers, Members of the Council and Executive Committees, and the Heads of Rooms and Branches, Orderlies and by regular whole day workers after six months' service. The uniform adopted is similar in colour to that worn by the Surgical Requisites Association and the Kensington War Hospital Supply Depot, and consists of a grey coat and skirt with grey overcoat and black hat.
Applications for uniform must be made in writing to the Hon. Secretary. These rules apply also to members of Country Branches wishing to adopt the uniform.
THE PASSING OF THE NATIONAL SURGICAL DRESSINGS COMMITTEE OF AMERICA.
This Committee, which was founded by Mrs. Mary Hatch Willard in October, 1914, blazed the trail for a special department of war relief work at a time when the hospital [illegible] France were in desperate need of surgical dressings for the wounded from the battle of the Marne. For three years, while America remained neutral, this Committee, with its network of inter-State organisation, was a channel through which sympathy flowed to the Allies, British, French and Italian. The Belgravia War Hospital Supply Depot had the honour to be the London Distributing Centre for this Committee, and for its offshoot the Surgical Dressings Committee of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston.
Now, at the moment of its greatest financial prosperity and productive power, with a spirit that cannot be too highly commended, the Committee has formally dissolved its organisation to make way for the American Red Cross, the official Government Relief Organisation in the United States, which is prepared to manufacture all the surgical dressings required.
To quote Mrs. Willard's own words: "It came to serve, it worked to serve, it passes but to serve. Going over the top like real patriots at all personal cost, at just the right moment to serve the country, is expressing the true spirit of Americanism which is bound to cause thousands to forget all else but to work to win this war."
The passing of this work, so much loved and respected, causes real regret to many because of the personal touch which dominated its activities and the close association which was maintained with its heads. (c) UNDERWOOD & UNDERWOOD STUDIOS, N.Y.
Mrs. Mary Hatch Willard, Chairman N.S.D. Com. of America.
Report of Hospitals Supplies received from National Surgical Dressings Committee of America by the Belgravia War Hospital Supply Depot.
October 1st, 1915, to October 1st, 1918.
National Surgical Dressings Committee, New York 334,690 Peter Bent Brigham Committee, Boston ... 1,225,313 Total 1,560,003