The Blue Coat School
The Halifax Courier Comforts Fund employed large numbers of volunteers to pack ‘comforts’ at the ‘Parcels Depot’ which was located in the Blue Coat School. The parcels were sent to hospitals, training camps and troops in France and Belgium and POW camps. The ‘Fund Manager’ was rarely mentioned by name but was probably John Dennison at the Halifax Courier.
The fund began life as a branch of the Mayor’s Distress Fund which was launched immediately after the outbreak of war in August 1914 to help neighbourhood distress caused by soldiers being away at war. To begin with it collected money only, but requests from soldiers for cigarettes gradually transformed it into a ‘comforts’ fund and included many other types of goods.
One of its notable features was the employment of many juvenile collectors such as Little Khaki George (George Bentley) and Little Scottie (Leonard Haigh).
The Halifax Courier newspaper was located on Regent Street next to King Cross Road. It was broadly supportive of the war and through John Denison it was actively engaged in community support work. In 1916 it moved into new premises further down the street.