Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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World War One – “County Press” Tobacco Fund for Islanders at the Front

First Word War cigarettes
First Word War cigarettes

The scheme recently inaugurated in connection with the County Press Tobacco Fund, through which for the sum of 1s. parcels may be sent by direct post to men at the Front, has been taken advantage of by a large number of readers who have relatives and friends in the fighting forces abroad and on the sea. The parcels are despatched by Messrs. Martins of Piccadilly, London (through whose agency our Fund is worked), from the Island of Guernsey, where a reduced foreign postal rate prevails, and special facilities have been granted by the local authorities for handling tobacco and cigarettes in bond and for despatching small parcels by letter post from that Island.

It is not claimed that we are exclusively able to make this offer; as a matter of fact, the 1s. parcels can be sent by dealers and other firms. There is a difference, however: the profit on each parcel sent through them quite rightly goes into their pockets, but when sent through the County Press Fund our profit (nearly 10 per cent) will be allocated to a special fund for the supply of “smokes” to prisoners of war in Germany.


Include –
(1) Speedy postal delivery for every personally addressed parcel
(2) A choice of popular brands of tobacco and cigarettes free of duty; and
(3) A regular supply for prisoners of war in Germany.


Either of the parcels described below may be sent to an individual soldier or sailor for 1s., including letter postage, thus ensuring its arrival within a few days of despatch:

Quote this reference number when ordering Contents of Parcel for 1s., including postage Cost if posted in England
501 70 Woodbines 1/9½
502 50 “Arf-a-Mo” 2/-
503 40 Gold Flake 1/7
504 30 Glory Boy 1/4½
505 25 Cigarettes in Case 1/8
506 6 Panatella Cigars 1/4
507 4 oz. “Arf-a-Mo” Tobacco 2/11


The shilling parcels can be sent to any British soldier in France, Flanders, Balkans, Persian Gulf, or Egypt; to any sailor in a ship in the Navy, wherever stationed; and to any prisoner of war in Germany of interned in Holland. Parcels cannot be sent, however, to soldiers in the United Kingdom, India, or East or West Africa.


Forward as many shillings as you wish parcels to be sent – 5s. will secure five weekly parcels, and so on; quote reference number opposite the parcel in the tabulated list above, give full details of soldier’s or sailor’s name, number, rank, platoon, company or battery, battalion, or other regimental or naval unit, each in a separate line, one underneath another.


The old scheme of 6d. parcels still remains in force, but under it contributions can only be allocated to particular companies or regiments or particular ships, parcels cannot be ear-marked for particular men. We would point out that there are thousands of men who are without friends in a position to send them regular supplies, and our general fund (comprising donations not allocated to individuals) remains in operation for the purpose of supplying such with 6d. parcels of 30 cigarettes and 1oz. of tobacco, Island men to have the preference in all cases.


If contributors to the Fund will forward us the full names and addressed of Island men who are prisoners of war in Germany, Austria or Turkey, or of members of the forces interned in Holland, we shall be pleased to have parcels of “smokes” despatched to them so far as the trade profits in hand on 1s. parcels sent through the “County Press” Tobacco Fund will allow. Any contributions sent for the purpose may also be applied in the same way.

The following additional subscriptions have been received at the head offices of the County Press during the week ended Thursday morning January 13th:

Mr and Mrs A Snow, Newport, the Misses E and M Snow, Newport, E Young, Ryde and A Snow, Newport 2s each.

Mrs Cassell, Little Atherfield, R Brown, Brighstone, and “Old Pals,” Newport, 1s. each.

The total given last week was £200 4s 5d., making with 11s acknowledged this week a grand total of £200 15s 5d.


Source: The Isle of Wight County Press 15 January 1916

Researched and Typed by Ann Barrett and Janette Gregson