Essex Regiment POW Fund

 

The Essex Regiment Prisoners of War Fund was fomed at the end of 1914.

In 1918 it was remaned the Essex Regiment Repatriated Prisoner of War Fund.

The main driver was the secretary Mrs Stephenson.

One of the first acts was to organise 'fairy godmothers' for each man in captivity.

In the first year there were 50 godmothers,in 1916 there were 90, in 1917 there were 300 and by 1918 there were 1,618.

During the war 91,000 parcels had been sent via the fund and during 1918 they raised £27,000 with cost of operation rising to £1,000 per week.

Most of the fundraising was from personal donations and many small events like concerts and fetes held throughout Essex.

The secretary said that if the war had gone on for another year she didn't know what they would have done.

Mrs Stephenson was awarded the BEM for her services to the fund.

Other promient workers in the fund were Retired General T E Stephenson, Miss Betty Dalton and Mr E B Knight.