From Donny with Love: Comfort Packs

Tank Bank Week 1918 – Doncaster Local Studies Library

To commemorate the contribution that Doncaster made to the war effort during the First World War, we’re recreating 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.

The Rifles Regiment

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 we will be sending 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.

Local Businesses

We’re calling out to Yorkshire businesses to donate items to go into the comfort packs. If you can help, please get in touch.

Thanks so far to:
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

Items to Donate

The following items have been suggested by modern-day soldiers as items they’d like to receive in their comfort packs. If you’d like to donate any items, please get in touch and we can arrange to collect them, or you can drop them into Doncaster Museum by the end of September 2018. We will be holding dedicated drop-off days on Thursday 26th July – Sunday 29th July – Thursday 6th September at Doncaster Museum, and Thursday 16th August at Cusworth Hall.

  • Miniature shower gels
  • Toothbrushes
  • Puzzle books
  • Pens
  • Travel board games
  • Action or Comedy Books (non-war topics)
  • Small footballs
  • Hard boiled sweets
  • Sports and music magazines
  • Playing cards

Tank Bank Day

Thanks to all who attended our Tank Bank event on 9th June 2018, and donated to the Comfort Packs campaign there. We raised a total of £183.52 on the day – thank you for your generosity!