1915 WW1 Tobacco Fund postcard, thank you British soldier to American

$25.00 CAD

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Postcard sent by British soldiers to people who contributed to a Tobacco Fund to supply them with smokes. This one is from Lance Sgt C.H. (Charles Henry) Harwood of the 6th Somerset Light Infantry, thanking a donor in NYC. Note that at this time America was not yet involved in WW1.

Illustration by Bert Thomas on front of soldier lying again a stone wall with ‘A smoke is meat and drink to us over here 1915

Mailed to  --- J. Bucknall, 193 Walter St. New York USA

No postage was applied, so there is a ‘DUE 4 CENTS’ along with 2 US Postage Due stamps.

Postmarked ‘FIELD POST OFFICE 43 13 JY 15’. Receiving postmark ‘NEW YORK N.Y

On back ‘The smokes sent with this postcard were supplied to the Tobacco Fund by Martins Ltd, 210, Piccadilly, London W.'

Dear Sir,
A card  to thank you for the cigarettes -- out to us by you we shall all enjoy them in our spare time. It is good of you to think of us out here amongst so many great dangers we are all trying to do our best.to beat a common enemy.
Yours truly,
L/Sgt Harwood C.H.
6th Somerset L.I.


Some information from UK Military Records:

Charles Henry Harwood (1892-?)
Lance Sergeant 1914 Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire…
Lance Sergeant 1914 Somerset Light Infantry
Sergeant 1916 Somerset Light Infantry
RAF Lieutenant




One of the most successful and enduring fund-raising efforts of the war were the 'Smokes for the Troops' funds. On 29th October 1914, The Times announced to its readers that at Lord Kitchener's request a Smokes for Soldiers and Sailors Fund had been formed "to provide our wounded…with tobacco and cigarettes in hospitals here and at the front…and is at the moment sending regular supplies to over 200 hospitals and convalescent homes." Those who were serving at the front were not forgotten either.

To make it easier for the public to send cigarettes and tobacco to members of the B.E.F. the Post Office allowed such 'comforts' to be mailed by the cheaper letter post instead of parcel post. ... To meet this need, the Weekly Dispatch has started a Tobacco Fund, and…£12,000 has already been collected. But much more is required to keep up a steady supply."

By early 1915, the Weekly Dispatch was joined by other national and local newspapers who established their own Tobacco Funds. For example, the Bexley Heath Observer started a fund and used a Bert Thomas cartoon on its ‘Cigarette and tobacco acknowledgement cards’. The cards were usually buff-coloured with the name and address of a subscriber entered on the front and put into a parcel of 'smokes' and sent to the front and given to a soldier. The man who received the parcel then wrote a few words of thanks to the person named on the card. It was then posted into the military postal system, which returned it to the U.K. or where ever else the gift had originated from.


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