Women’s Institute To Help in War Effort

Carleton Place Herald

September 1, 1914


“From – Ontario Dept. of Agriculture, Toronto, Aug. 22, 1914:

Editor Herald.

Dear Sir : – A number of the Women’s Institutes in the Province responded most liberally to the appeal for funds to supply a hospital ship to the Imperial Navy.  Many others are prepared to give money donations and to supply articles of clothing, etc., to the soldiers.  In view of the fact that many inquiries have been made of the Department, have circulated the Institutes giving them authority to send such proportion of the funds on hand as they can spare to the Red Cross Society.  They have also been asked to do their part in collecting funds and supplying the articles listed below…..

Abbreviated List of Requirements: –

3000 Pillows, and slips for the same.

3000 to 4000 Flannel Shirts – Sizes – 15 to 17 ½ made of medium weight, grey or khaki color.

10,000 to 12,000 Handkerchiefs….made of cheese cloth.

2,000 to 3,000 Cholera Belts, to be made of ordinary yarn, either red or grey, two inches of each end to be knitted with steel needles, and centre eight inches to be knitted with bone needles.

Cholera Belt definition :

The cholera belt was an article of clothing commonly worn as a preventative measure by British soldiers serving in India, where cholera was endemic. Basically a waistband or cummerbund made of flannel or silk, the belt was supposed to keep away the cold and damp, the theory being that a chilled abdomen would lead to cholera, dysentery, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal ailments. Doctors realized fairly early on that cholera had little to do with cold and damp and was in fact caused by fecal bacteria in drinking water. But military inertia being what it was, use of the belt persisted until after World War II.

6,000 to 7,000 Pairs of Socks – Grey preferred.

5,000 Housewives or Mending Kits – containing safety pins, sewing and darning needles, small straight scissors, buttons (ordinary shirt and bachelor), black and white linen thread, small package of court plaster, and foot ease powder, if possible.  Sew tape on end for ties.

Money donations as well as supplies should be addressed to the Tresurer of the Red Cross Society, 56 King St. East, Toronto.”


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