www.greatchartatwar.org.uk The Great Chart Sailors' and Soldiers' War Fund
The Great Chart Sailors's and Soldiers' War Fund was started by Mrs Elizabeth Strouts in 1915. 

It seems likely that the idea grew out of the Christmas Comforts Tin sent to all serving troops by Princess Mary in Christmas 1914.

Through the sterling work of Mrs Strouts and her Committee, the Friends of Great Chart sent a total of 5,921 parcels, 989 letters and received back 1,605 letters and numerous "Field Cards".




The people of Great Chart started the above fund in January, 1915, being wishful to keep in touch with all the men who from that parish so readily responded to their Country’s call in her time of need, to cheer and encourage them in their arduous work and to show gratitude for that work.  There are 73 names on this Roll of Honour, a number of whom are at the Front, some since the beginning of the War.  To their men who, on Foreign Service in India and China and on Home Service, are doing such good work for their King and the land so dearly loved, occasional parcels are sent. To their brave men who, at the various Fronts, are called upon to endure hardships, difficulties, danger and death, and, in consequence, to whom “a week is a long, long, time” weekly parcels of comforts are sent.  Each parcel contains also a written greeting of “Kind remembrance and every good wish from the Friends of Great Chart,” on a coloured picture postcard of local views. A sergeant of the 5th Buffs, attached to the 2nd Royal West Kents, writes from Mesopotamia:- “What memories of home the picture postcards awaken !  How many men will have cause to thank you all when this dreadful war is over ! The only way one can show how such kindness is appreciated is to continue to do the most that lies in our power for the success of the Grand Army of which we form part.” Another Sergeant of the 2nd Royal West Kents, Mesopotamia, writes: “I am still receiving the little parcels regularly and in good condition, the only one being lost during the whole period went down on the “Persia”. I consider myself very fortunate indeed receiving every one and such good condition. Dear Friends, I cannot thank you enough for what you are doing for us boys at the Front. The contents of the parcels, and the way they are packed, and sent to us conveys to me that every possible attention is paid to them.  This is also much noticed by my comrades on the regular arrival of those little gifts.”  Many similar letters to these have been received. A Private of the 1st Buffs Western Fronts, writes keen letters of appreciation every week.

  The casualties for 1915 were, considering the number of men at the various Fronts, remarkably few. Captain Lionel Charles Alfred Curties, Brigade Machine-gun Officer, was officially reported missing since September 26th , 1915, believed killed.  Private George Barnes, 1st Royal West Kents, gave his life for his King and Country in France on May 21st ,1915. Several men were wounded. All honour to these heroes of Great Chart who so willingly and so gallantly have done, and who are doing, their bit for their King and Country !   And all warm praise to the loyal people of Great Chart who are so nobly and self-denyingly  caring for them !  It is splendid indeed to relate that there are very few houses in the whole of this parish who do not contribute every week to this War Fund.

  The balance sheet for 1915 shows that the receipts were £141 1s. 2d., the expenditure £118 0s. 11½ d., leaving a balance in hand of £23 0s. 2½ d.  830 parcels were dispatched to the men, and 186 letters were sent to them and 305 letters were received from them, in addition to numerous field post cards. This splendid work is still being continued in 1916.


The Committee worked tirelessly throughout the Great War to raise money and collect donations to send to the "Boys of Chart". Here is a copy of one of their appeal posters:



The Great Chart Sailors' and Soldiers' War Fund