Gomersal & The Great War
. . . . at home
The Gomersal Local Relief Fund was set up to provide financial help to the families of servicemen. Churches not only helped these families financially but also provided social gatherings for local people.
Unanimously agreed that we give Sunday September 6th collections to the War Distress Fund now being raised in Gomersal
[Moravian Minster’s Diary – August 1914]
In 1915, Princess Mary inspired the country by sending a Christmas gift to “every sailor afloat and every soldier at the front.” This idea was adopted by churches and schools who made garments and sent parcels to those soldiers on active service.
A committee was elected to arrange for the sending of gifts to all scholars who have joined H.M. Forces.
[West Lane Sunday School. 31st January 1915]
The ladies of the Church have made and sent 179 garments for the troops and military hospitals.
[Grove Congregational Church – Annual Report for 1914]
Mrs. Robinson presented the report that 67 parcels had been sent at a total cost of £11.13s.10d
[West View Methodist Church – March 1917
Resolved that we should have special services to raise money for wool for soldiers’ comforts.
[Drub Congregational Church – March 1917]
The Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) combined with The Household Fuel and Lighting Order restrictions posed many problems for the churches. Services were often held in smaller Sunday School buildings and Evening Services held in the afternoons.
The year of 1918 has been for the church one of increasing difficulty. The burdens and anxieties occasioned to us all by the actual fighting, the increased demands made upon most people’s time and energy in their business life, - the shortage of food, coal and gas necessitating the curtailment of our services, and the scourge of influenza which at the close of the year caused the closing of the Sunday School and brought sickness into almost every home.
[Grove Congregational Church – Annual Report for 1918]
Armistice concluded and fighting ceased at 11am.
All meetings had to be abandoned, as all shared in the general relief and gladness.
[Moravian Minster’s Diary – 11th November 1918]
On 28th December, the Mothers’ Union are intending to invite soldier’s wives and mothers to tea in the School, followed by a social evening. We wish them every good Christmas Wish.
[St Mary’s Church Parish Magazine – December 1915]
Resolved that we should have £2 for the supper for Soldier’s’ Wives and Parents in November. A meat supper is to be provided.
[Drub Congregational Church – October 1917]