Page 202 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-II

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THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS, 1914-1918
The FWld was generously supported in the year of its birth, the
battalions alone contributing £770.
It
increased steadily year by
year; by 1st August, 1909, the invested capital was £9,162, and
£2,000 had been paid in grants. In that year Colonel George Edward
Wike, of the 5th Battalion, became a trustee. A man of considerable
local standing, he became well known to everybody who might
possibly be induced to contribute to the Fund; and no journey was
too long for him to undertake if he thought it might bring a donation
or promise of a legacy to the cause which was always so close to his
heart. Nor did he spare his own pocket: he gave generously to the
Fund on many occasions.
Whert war was declared in August, 1914, it was realized that
heavier demands would be made on the Fund and that, if the
invested capital was to remain intact, some special provision would
be needed. Colonel Wike promptly took the matter in hand and,
from twenty-nine firms and individuals, collected a special fund of
£2,052 which, with the normal income of the Fund, carried the
managers through the war years. The increase in expenditure was
indeed substantial. In the year 1913-1914, grants from the Fund
totalled £408 Ss. lad.; in 1919-1920 they came to £1,146 I9s. od.
In 1914 a total of 123 men and women were helped; by 1916 the
widows alone had increased from 37 to 100. The grants were available
to all men of any battalion of the Regiment, except the 15th, 16th,
19th, 20th and 21st (Salford) Battalions for whom separate provision
was made, as
will
be described later in this chapter.
In 1921, in view of the cheques handed over as part of the
War Memorial, the title of the Fund was altered to "The Lancashire
Fusiliers Compassionate and War Memorial Fund." In 1922 it
received two large benefactions, in the shape of £12,944, the balance
of the Bury Prisoners of War Committee's funds, and
£IO,969J
the
balance of Salford's similar organization. Though the battalions of
·the Regiment, and individual members and ex-members of it, have
always contributed generously to the Fund-many adopting the
custom of giving a day's pay every year-it could never have carried
out its work so efficiently and freely if it had not been for the constant
help of many supporters outside the Regiment, some of them
relations of those who had served in it, but others with no closer
link
than admiration for the Regiment and appreciation of the
excellent work of the Fund, its managers and officials, amongst
whom special mention must be made of Major
B.
Smyth, O.B.E.,
M.V.O., its secretary for marty years.
THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS PRISONERS OF WAR FUND AND
COMMITTEE
The system which first came into being for the care of members
of the Regiment who had the misfortune to be taken prisoner,
provided for "adapters," mostly ladies who undertook to supply
two or more prisoners with weekly parcels of food.
It
was managed