To commemorate the contribution that Doncaster made to the war effort during the First World War, Doncaster 1914-18 recreated wartime Christmas comfort packs to send to troops currently serving in the Army.
During the First World War Doncaster became a ‘million pound town’ as it raised over £1 million in war bonds to support the war effort (that’s £59 million today!). Throughout the First World War, fundraising and supporting the troops became part of everyday life on the Home Front.
Doncaster Mansion House hosted a series of fundraising events for soldiers, prisoners of war and Britain’s war effort. Doncaster Girl’s Grammar School students were tasked with knitting socks and mittens for soldiers, as well as hosting pound days and collecting tinned food. Six tanks toured Britain to encourage people to purchase war bonds and war savings certificates, and in April 1918 Egbert the Tank came to Doncaster.
To replicate and commemorate these fundraising activities the project sent out gifts to 300 soldiers currently serving with the Rifles Regiment in time for Christmas 2018. The Rifles are the successors to the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry who have had a long association with the town, and were a key local regiment during the First World War.
The following businesses offered their support through donations:
Woodlands Co-Operative – £10 donation of products
Taylors of Harrogate – 300 packs of tea
Tickhill Dental and Implant Centre – 50 tubes of toothpaste
Doncaster Dental Centre – 158 tubes of toothpaste
South Yorkshire Carton Co. – 300 cardboard boxes
Wine Box Company Ltd. – Festive tissue paper
Henderson’s Relish – 50 bottles of relish
Premier Foods – Custard sachets
Fultons Foods – £200 vouchers
Frickley Athletic Football Club – footballs
KP Snacks – Packets of nuts
Tesco Balby – 27 nail brushes, 20 tubes of toothpaste, 20 bars of soap
Women’s Relief Group – A selection of over 150 items
South Yorkshire Police, Doncaster – Books, toiletries and donations
Heritage Doncaster Step Challenge – £220
Bentley SMILE – A selection of over 200 items
Tickhill Library – 31 books
Marks and Spencer, Doncaster – £20 voucher
Sandringham Primary School – 8 bags of items
Groups from the Linney and Redmond centres – Dozens of items and books