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Wounded Soldiers and Sailors Fund
Sometimes injured soldiers, whilst convalescing, were thought to be at home when they should be at the front. To show they were recovering from an injury they were issued with a stripe to wear on their sleeve. Wounded or recovering men wore a lapel badge with "For Loyal Service" and men invalided out by injury wore a badge on their lapel - "For Services Rendered". The "On War Service" badge issued in 1915.
1915 wounded badge
fixing stripe lapel badge
(above) Wounded Stripe and (left) fixing plate and split pin
(above right) 1915 'On War Service' badge
(right) Lapel Badges
A wound stripe is a vertical bar worn 3 inches from the sleeve end. Introduced in July 1916, one was issued each time a soldier appeared in wounded Casualty Lists, and retrospectively.
Service Badges

George Sail was wounded
Wounded men wearing the blue jackets with mustard collars
George Sail - 4th from left seated - c1916

In the early years of the War, the medics might have rejected some. By the summer of 1917, the British Army was in desperate need of reinforcements following the ravages of 1916 and with new carnage, such as Passchendaele. This encouraged a policy of recruit now; examine later. And then, if a man proved unfit for trench warfare, there were plenty of non-combatant jobs to be done.

The RDC (Royal Defence Corps) comprised 27,000 men who were unfit to fight. Half of them were guarding PoW camps. There was still plenty for them to do following the armistice and it would be April 1919 before some were discharged.

Research by David Ball, Ringstead

The Rushden Echo, 21st December 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

The Employees of Messrs William Claridge have, as in previous years, sent a donation to the fund to provide smokes for Wounded Soldiers and Sailors at the request of Lord Beresford. They have also made a collection for the British and Foreign Sailors’ Society.

The Rushden Echo, 21st December 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Town Band Club—A concert was held on Sunday evening last, the proceeds being for the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Tobacco Fund. A splendid programme was rendered by the undermentioned vocalisits: Miss Lottie Gray (soprano), Miss F Whitworth (contralto), Mr Alf Burnett (tenor), and Mr Edgar Payne (bass), assisted by Mr E Whitworth (cornet soloist), and the Rifle Band Quartette. Miss Evelyn Attley accompanied on the piano in a very able and efficient manner. The hall was well filled by members and friends, and judging by the applause given to each item, the concert was very much enjoyed. A good sum was collected for the above fund.

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