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National Library of Wales
Aberystwyth Comforts Fund Papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 ABCOMF

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Aberystwyth Comforts Fund Papers

Short Title: Aberystwyth Comforts Fund Papers

Creation date(s): 1915-1919

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 5 boxes (0.143 cubic metres)

Name of creator(s): Aberystwyth Comforts Fund


Administrative/Biographical history: The Aberystwyth Weekly Comforts for Fighters Fund was established in 1915 to provide comforts for Aberystwyth men serving overseas during the First World War. It was founded by Regimental Sergeant Major Thomas Richard Fear, previously of the Grenadier Guards, following a request by a local soldier on behalf of Aberystwyth men for cigarettes to be sent to them whilst posted abroad. He successfully managed the Fund from June 1915 onwards, sending comforts such as tobacco and cake to many local soldiers. Sergeant Major Fear was also involved in the Aberystwyth Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) to support those returning from war, and petitioned for the erection of a war memorial in the town.-- The Comforts Fund was well-supported by local businesses and the people of Aberystwyth who regularly donated to the cause. Fund-raising activities, such as fĂȘtes and concerts, were also organised. Initially, parcels were only sent to local soldiers on active service, but, as funds increased, the provision of comforts was extended to include the wounded. Parcels for smokers, containing quantities of tobacco or cigarettes, were packaged and dispatched by the London-based tobacco manufacturer and importer, Cohen, Weenen & Co., on behalf of the Fund. Cake and chocolates for non-smokers were purchased locally. A card or letter of comfort from Sergeant Major Fear was placed within each parcel and, on occasions, newspapers such as the Cambrian News were included. In some instances, comforts such as socks, mittens and even boxing gloves were also sent. Particular efforts were made at Christmas to send special parcels of Christmas cake, plum pudding, chocolate and cigarettes to all men known to the Fund.-- Between twenty and fifty parcels were dispatched by the Fund every week. Soldiers were sent new parcels following the receipt of an acknowledgement by Sergeant Major Fear for the previous parcel. Many parcels were lost or severely delayed because of the difficulties involved in locating individuals, particularly those serving in the Navy. Sending parcels to soldiers posted overseas gradually came to an end following the Armistice in November 1918. Parcels were instead given to soldiers as tokens of appreciation and support on their return to Aberystwyth. The provision of comforts to some soldiers and Prisoners of War continued into 1919.


Scope and content/abstract: Papers relating to the Aberystwyth Weekly Comforts for Fighters Fund, comprising letters received by Sergeant Major Fear from Aberystwyth men serving overseas, 1915-1919, financial records, 1915-1919, and administrative papers, [1915]-1919.


Language/scripts of material: English.

System of arrangement: Arranged at NLW into three series: letters from servicemen, financial records and administrative papers.

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions noted on the 'Modern papers - data protection' form issued with their Readers' Tickets.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright laws apply.

Finding aids: Catalogue available online.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated by Sergeant Major Fear and the Rev. George Eyre Evans, Aberystwyth, 1918, 1919 and 1924.


Related material: Further papers relating to the Aberystwyth Comforts Fund, 1915-1916, including letters to soldiers from Sergeant Major Fear and letters to the Fund from contributors, are held at NLW (NLW MS 2864D). Press cuttings, 1915-1918, including names of subscribers, a summary of Fund accounts and extracts from letters written by soldiers to Sergeant Major Fear, are in War Book: Aberystwyth Items, compiled by George Eyre Evans (Aberystwyth, 1914-1918), 4 vols., also held at NLW (printed material collection).


Note: Title based on contents.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Rhian Lyn James. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: War Book: Aberystwyth Items, compiled by George Eyre Evans (Aberystwyth, 1914-1918), 4 vols., held at NLW; and items within the archive.

Rules or conventions: Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH

Date(s) of descriptions: December 2008.

Soldiers | Wales | Aberystwyth | Correspondence
World War, 1914-1918 | Wales | Aberystwyth

Personal names
Fear , Sergeant Major

Corporate names
Aberystwyth Comforts Fund


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