Manly Library has just been donated the Minute-book of the Manly and District Korean Campaign Comforts Fund. The Korean War broke out in early 1950. By November 1950, a Committee had been formed in Manly, chaired by Mayor Scharkie, to organise the provision of parcels of food and clothing to local men serving with the Australian forces. The first parcels to be sent consisted of a balaclava, gloves, muffler, socks, handkerchiefs, writing paper, chocolate, and Xmas cake.
The committee was hard-working, organising numerous fund-raising activities locally, and sending regular consignments of parcels overseas. Letters of thanks began to come back from soldiers who had received them, and serving personnel home on leave came along to tell the committee exactly what they would like by way of comforts from home. Future parcels included socks, cake, talcum powder, borax, toothbrushes, shaving cream, handkerchiefs, paper and envelopes, razor blades, tinned sausages, candles, sweets, vegemite, and tinned fruit-juice. Local businesses donated goods.
The Minute-book records occasional good news, such as the award of the Military Medal to Corporal R McCrindle of the 1st Battalion; but also the bad news, including the death of Private Walter Saillard, one of the five men whose names are honoured on the Manly War Memorial. The others are Sgt Bernard Cocks, Pte George Paterson, Private Jack Page and Private Brian Webb.
By the time the fighting stopped, on 27 July 1953, 17,164 Australian military personnel had served in the Korean War. 411 were killed and 1,216 wounded. The Committee continued to send comforts for a further year, providing a welcome reminder of home to the soldiers.
Labels: Charles Scharkie, Manly Korean Campaign Comforts Fund