The Chertsey Women’s War Work Association

Chertsey Women's War Work Association

Title: Chertsey Women's War Work Association
Description: The members of the Association outside its headquarters at the end of the war. SHC ref P2/7/1-22 by-nc

The Chertsey Women’s War Work Association was set up to make comforts for the troops, both those overseas and those in The Grange War Hospital, Chertsey. Its members were divided into collectors who sought money for supplies, subscribers who contributed regular sums (and who could nominate troops to send items to) and workers who made items such as shirts, slippers, vests, treasury bags, nightshirts and scarves. The Association met twice weekly, operating from 1 Windsor Street and (from 1917) 21 Windsor Street, Chertsey.

Between November 1915 and June 1919 it made in total 11,140 items, including 1488 pairs of socks, 1821 shirts, 767 vests and 4968 treasury bags.

A poem published in the Surrey Herald on 1st September 1916 captures the spirit of the times splendidly.

Are we ‘Keeping the Line’ in Chertsey?
We mothers, and sisters, and wives!
Are we worthy to call them ‘Kingsfolk’?
These men who are giving their lives.
Are we ‘Keeping the Line’ in Chertsey?
And fighting the same grim foe –
The hosts of the powers of darkness,
Who are plotting our overthrow.
For each of us can do something
In a hundred different ways,
And the one who helps with her fingers
Does as much as the one who pays.
We must ‘Keep the Line’ in Chertsey
By working as hard as we can,
And prove by our ‘Women’s War Work’
We are worthy of helping a man!

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