Care packages for RMR’s in 1914

Friday, November 20, 1914

Camp Salisbury Plain, West Down South

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Drill, Lecture. Address to officers of the Division by Gen. Alderson, emphasizing necessity of proper behavior of officers.”  [1]

20 Nov 14“London, Nov. 18. – Misses Plummer and Arnoldi, appointed by the Minister of Militia to take charge of field comforts for the Canadian Contingent, have been given the rank of lieutenants for special services in the field.  Comforts are now needed by the men here, especially cholera belts,* sleeping caps, socks, and mufflers in great numbers; also cigarettes, pipes, and other Christmas presents for the troops.  All these should be sent to Miss Plummer, Field Comforts, Canadian Contingent, Salisbury, and subscriptions for the same send to Miss Arnoldi.  The authorities are anxious to give this publicity throughout the Dominion.”  [3]

* “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.” [4]

… “Goods sent as presents to individual soldiers, or bodies of men in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, will be admitted to the United Kingdom free of duty… The General Post Office, London, England, advises that parcels for members of the British Expeditionary forces serving on the Continent, if addressed ‘Expeditionary Force, care of G.P.O., London,’ and sent in mails for London, will be forwarded to their destination.

The British post office adds that tobacco and cigarettes for the troops are admitted to France duty free, which allows of these articles being included in parcels forwarded as above.

Inasmuch as since the beginning of the war, parcel post service with France has been temporarily discontinued, no parcels for France other than those addressed to members of the expeditionary force can be accepted for transmission.” [5]


[1]  War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Nov 20, 1914.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa,
[2] “Comforts for The Canadian Troops,” The Montreal Daily Mail, Montreal, Que, Thursday, November 19, 1914, pg. 2, col. 5.
[3]   Ibid
[5]  “Comforts For The Overseas Forces,”The Montreal Daily Mail, Montreal, Que, Thursday, November 26, 1914, pg 2, col. 2.

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