Kin Blog

Letters from Britain 5: Best Wishes

July 25, 2016
By Sarah Welton

Missed the previous letters from Britian? Get caught up and then keep reading. 

Today's letters are also from the bulletin marked March 31st, 1943, making them over 73 years old. Many of the little kids who are being referenced in these letters would be in their 70's or 80's today. With how historic these letters are, it's amazing to still be able to read them and share them today. 

The first letter is addressed as coming from "The Children of the Sharman Home" in Surrey:

Letter from "The Children of the Sharman Home", in Horley, Surrey

"Dear Friends, We do thank you for the nice present that you sent us. Our milk as I expect you know is rationed here and we can only get a little. This makes your gift especially acceptable. There are fifty-two children in our homes. . . ."

 Over fifty kids certainly sounds like a lot, especially with rations in place. However, it's good to know that those fifty-two were a part of the many that Kinsmen and Kinettes helped by sending all that milk. 

As well, it's good to hear that even when children were displaced or had nowhere else to go, that organizations like the Sharman Home were willing to take them in and provide the necessary care. 

 Letter number two for today comes from the matron at the Camborne-Redrich Miners' and General Hospital: 

Letter from the Matron at Camborne-Redrich Miners' and General Hospital

"To-day I have received through the Regional Stores of Bristol a very kind and magnificent gift of six drums (1200 qts) of dried milk. Would you please convey to your Committee our appreciation and grateful thanks for thinking of us in these difficult days of war. It is help like this coming unexpectedly from across the sea that enables us to smile and go on determinedly to face this difficult period out to an end. 

Our best wishes come with this letter in the great work that you are doing." 

 While only a small portion of the total sent, those 1200 quarts probably made a huge difference at the hospital - the matron's warm words are proof enough of that. 

Today, a campaign of this magnitude might have been simple through the use of social media to help spread the word. People would have been made aware instantly, stories would have been shared across the world, and these messages of gratitude would be immediately available to everyone across Canada. The limited communication and global connectivity of the 1940's was only one of the challenges that Kin had to overcome in making the campaign a success, but they still persevered. 

Maybe all the thank you letters helped spur them on? 

The final letter from today is listed as having come from another matron, Mrs. K. Davidson, at Arthur's Home for Girls in Bognoe, Regis:

Letter from Mrs. K. Davidson, Matron, at Arthur's Home for Girls in Bognoe, Regis

"Sent to the W.V.S:     'Please convey my warmest thanks to the Kinsmen of Canada for their welcome gift of Powdered Milk. 

It came at a time when we were really short of fresh milk and we use it in many ways. For milk puddings, blanc menges* [sic], custards, soups, stews, fish pies and in mashed vegetables sprinkled in powdered form on stewed fruit is is excellent.'"

*Blancmange is a sweet gelatinous dessert made with cornstarch and milk, similar to a pudding, that is popular in England. 

Sent to the Women's Voluntary Service and then passed onto Kin, the letter is just another look at how valuable milk was. Many kids must have looked forward to still getting desserts - a special treat to take their mind off being in a hospital, or a children's group home instead of with their parents. 

There's only 25 days left until the release of Milk for Britain. The next Letters from Britain are sure to be good ones, so stay tuned. 


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