America’s Gift of Toys (January 1915)

Taken in Limerick City (1917) Source: Imperial War Museum

from the Limerick Chronicle (16th January 1915)

“There was an unusual scene in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall on the morning of Thursday, January 14th, when, by the kind permission of the Mayor of Limerick, and in his presence, nearly 400 wives of soldiers and sailors serving at the front, with the Fleet, or in training, assembled to receive gifts for their children from the children of the United States of America, and from Limerick friends.

The gifts from America had been sent from the Local Government Board, Dublin, to the Mayor and by his approval had been sorted and parceled by the Committee of the Soldiers and Sailors Families Association, Limerick Division, and the following ladies were present to circulate them – Mrs Tidmarsh, Vice President; Mrs Abbott, Miss Barrington, Mrs Cleeve, Mrs de Courcy, Mrs J Egan, Mrs Hamilton, Miss Loughry, Miss Mickie, Mrs McDonnell, Mrs O’Connor, Mrs O’Malley, Miss Betty Russell, Lady Nash and Mrs Bunbury, Hon Secretaries.

Mr Ludlow, the American Consul, came with the Mayor, and both took the kindliest interest in the proceedings, which opened with a few words from the Mayor. He said that the children of the United States had had such a great and generous wish to send such Christmas presents to the children of killed, missing and serving men of all the fighting armies of Europe. That those presents had come across the seas to thousands of towns and millions of children. That 250 had come to Limerick city, and that their Limerick friends had added 756, so that no children of the 1,056 qualified should be disappointed.

The distribution was then systematically and quickly done, the women gratefully accepting the parcels, and leaving in succession.

A cablegram was sent from the Hon Secs. S.S.F.A. through Mr Ludlow to the Chicago Herald  saying that the gifts had been distributed in the Town Hall. The Mayor presiding and the children of Limerick sending grateful thanks.

The gifts to the children in the County of Limerick are also being supplemented, and will be sent to them next week.”

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