Sir,—I shall be glad if you can find space for the enclosed appeal to the children of the North, and may I add that I should take it as a favour if any masters and mistresses, or any one interested in boys and girls, would enlist their sympathy in the matter and read this appeal to them. H. D. Rawnsley.
To the School-Children of the North. How Children Can Help the Empire and Nation to Victory and Peace. Many children have money given them or earned by them which they spend upon themselves. You are all asked now to spend it upon help to the nation and Empire in this terrible time of war. Every shilling we can lend the Government helps us in our great struggle for right, humanity, and liberty—for victory and peace. If you will save your pence by putting them in the school savings bank, I am sure your teacher will obtain for you from the Post Office a voucher for 5s., and if you go on buying more 5s. vouchers until you have twenty you can exchange them for a £3 Stock Certificate, and you will then receive interest at the rate of 4s. 6d. a year, with the security of the British Government behind it. You will, in addition, get a bonus of 1s. Up to December 1 you can draw out the cash from the Post Office Savings Bank if you find it necessary. The country is now spending £3,000,000 a day on the war, and must find the money out of the savings of its citizens. No saving is too small to count. If forty-five millions of people save on an average even of 2s. 6d. a week it means that £300,000,000 a year are saved.
Do not only save your money for the war’s sake, but save now for your own sake, because you will learn a lesson in thrift for life. Save also for the country’s sake, and because work and wages are good now, and hard times will come after the war. Remember the more we have saved and can spend on home productions, the less need there will be to send money out of the country to buy from abroad. We are now buying £1,000,000 worth of goods a day from foreign countries more than they are buying from us.
Be careful about food. Eat less meat and more oatmeal porridge and vegetables. To waste food is as bad as to waste ammunition. Before you spend anything, think if it is necessary. Especially give up buying sweets and spending money on amusements. Do not think it necessary to have both jam and butter on your bread. If you have potatoes, ask your mother to bake or boil them in their jackets; so cooked, a plate of potatoes will feed five, whereas if peeled they will only feed four.
Your elder brothers are giving up their lives to the country. It is not too much to ask you children to give up unnecessary luxuries during this terrible war time. Be proud to have the chance of assisting the Government and nation by a little self-sacrifice. Ask your fathers and mothers to help in this matter. One last word. The holidays are coming on, and we are short-handed on the farms and in the shops and mills. Let every boy and girl determine to offer their services during the holidays to help in this crisis by the work of their hands. In Germany, I believe, all the children who are of age to do so are taking their share in the burden of extra work that has been cast upon those who cannot go to war. Every one of us from time onward has to work harder, and to endeavour to be productive. Germany has learned that secret. I believe there is hardly an acre of land available this year that is not made to bear some kind of food for the wants of the people. Let the children take this to heart, and determine not to be outdone by the German boys and girls in efforts to help their nation.
(Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 9 July 1915, p. 7)