By JOL Admin | 24 November 2014
In late November 1914, the Brisbane Courier initiated the 'Courier Blanket Fund' - a blanket donation drive to supply the troops overseas as they faced their first European winter. The drive was a great success, described in an article on 20th November as 'a splendid token of Queensland's sympathy and well-wishes'. In six days the total number of blankets reached 1,270, and many of the blankets contained cheering messages from the donors to the men soon to receive them. One such message was, "Greetings from Queensland. I wish I could send you some of our Queensland sunshine to wrap about you with this blanket. Cheer up, boys, and keep the flag flying."
One of the largest electric presses in Queensland was used to press the blankets into bales similar to wool bales, for ease of shipment, and in each bale a preservative was used to prevent the blankets being destroyed by moths or weevils whilst in transit. They were all sent to the Queensland Agent-General Sir Thomas Robinson in London, who then oversaw their proper distribution.
An article dated 24th November provided a further progress update, and listed Messrs. Winchcombe, Carson's, Ltd. as the firm which had so patriotically undertaken the packing of the bulky articles. In addition, a Mrs. Pring of Sydney Laundry, Brunswick Street, had kindly offered to clean labelled blankets free of charge, and residents of the Ipswich district, who had responded very positively to the appeal, could have their blankets washed free of charge by Mrs. F. Williams, of Arthur Street, Ipswich.
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