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© Barns Green - A Local History of The Great War 2014
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The   war   was   all   consuming,   and   even   small   villages   like   Barns   Green   were   being   subsumed   by   the   ever   growing   controls   and   requirements   brought about   by   the   need   to   sustain   the   war   effort.   The   residents   of   Itchingfield   parish   continued   with   a   multitude   of   fundraising   efforts,   which   were   utterly unrelenting   in   their   call   on   the   purses,   efforts   and   time   of   the   population.   Even   children   were   involved   and   some,   like   the   Pilbeam   brothers,   gave their   own   possessions,   sending   their   mouth   organs   to   the   Navy.      When   they   received   a   letter   of   thanks   from   the   Ship   that   had   received   their   gifts, their kindness was reported in the Itchingfield Parish Magazine We   print   the   following   two   letters.   Perhaps   other   children   could   do   something   in   the   same   way   to   show   that   we   do   not   forget   our   sailors   who are guarding our shores. Toat Hill, Slinfold, July 16 th  1916 Dear   Admiral   Jellicoe   -   My   little   brother   Cecil,   aged   7,   and   myself,   aged   8   ½   ,   are   sending   you   two   mouth   organs   for   the   sailors   to   help   to   cheer them   ;   they   are   not   quite   new,   but   our   mother   thought   the   sailors   would   like   to   have   them   as   we   have   two   cousins   in   the   Navy,   but   we   do   not know   which   ships   they   are   on.   Please   will   you   let   us   know   if   you   get   them   safe?   With   love   to   you   and   all   the   dear   sailors.   We   are   your   loving little friends. Arthur Henry and Cecil Ernest Pilbeam. (Now living at Barns Green) H.M.S. Iron Duke, 20 th  July 1916 I   am   directed   by   the   Admiral   Sir   John   Jellicoe,   Commander-in-Chief,   Grand   Fleet,   to   acknowledge   the   receipt   of   and   to   thank   you   for   your   kind gifts   of   mouth   organs   which   is   greatly   appreciated,   and   has   been   distributed   amongst   the   men   of   H.M.S.   Iron   Duke,   who   are   most   grateful   for your kind thought. Sydney Searle, Fleet Distribution Officer.
Mouth Organs for The Troops