During the two World Wars, there were no people in any part of the world unaffected by the conflict. Fathers, husbands, brothers and sons left their homes to work towards a world peace and it was left to those at home to do all they could for the war effort.
Rationing was common and it was often used so that the men overseas would have a little better quality food or clothing. Each community sent what they could to make things more comfortable and some of the things they sent might surprise people today. Many people knit or sewed for the war effort and others sent magazines and letters faithfully.
Today we have very little tolerance for people who smoke and even less for the people who provide the tobacco products. It wasn’t always that way, however.
Golden has always had a way of banding together to get the important work done and, as the number of “Golden Boys” over- seas started to increase, the people came together in their support. It was decided that to ease the burden on individual organizations, a central organization would be set up to handle the distribution of cigarettes.
A committee was formed to whom all cigarette funds were given and the name “Golden District Citizens” was attached to it.
This plan was decided upon so that each of the boys would receive the same amount instead of one receiving them and someone else in the same unit getting none.
The following are excerpts of letters written home by soldiers overseas expressing their gratitude. Most of these letters were written by men from the south end of the valley:
Spr. M. Calcutt: Would you please convey my thanks and appreciation to all the folks for their generous gift of 600 cigarettes I received last week. I also received, in a separate envelope, a
Christmas card with all the names of the donors. I notice that a few of the names are complete strangers to me.I appreciate their thoughtfulness for a person they have never seen and can only hope that I am able to thank them personally after this war is all over.
Gnr. J. Thompson: Through you, I wish to acknowledge the receipt of and to thank your organization for the 600 cigarettes that you so kindly sent to me. It is thoughtfulness of this nature that plays such a vital part in the establishing and keeping of a high standard of morale in Canadian overseas troops. Cigarettes are virtually indispensable and I can assure you and your organization that they are received with gratitude. As I looked at the list of names, I could see the faces of old friends and wished we were together again. On behalf of myself and the other boys of the district whose task has been made more bearable by yourgenerosity and kindness, I remain yours truly. JJ
Pte. R. Beamish: I received your very kind gift of 600 Wings cigarettes and also a Christmas card and again, I take this opportunity of thanking you all for your kindness and remembrance.
We are once more drawing very near to the close of another year and to enter upon a new year. This year that is about to close, to most of us has not been so bright.It will soon be past and gone; let us all look forward to the new one, take new hope and new courage and carry on.
I wish each and every one of you a merry Christmas and may the New Year bring happiness and prosperity to you all. I still am enjoying the best of health.