Along with many other regional newspapers, the Express & Star was a supporter of the Prince of Wales’ National Relief Fund during the war. This fund was administered in order to deal with distress which arose in consequence of war, such as unemployment, loss of earnings, injury or loss of life. Their campaign was announced in an advert on 19 August 1914.
The newspaper planned to place donation boxes on the counters of local shops, so that shoppers could place any change in these collection boxes. The reason behind this system was that “At present there are plenty of opportunities for the rich to subscribe; but there is no organised means by which the general public can offer their mites.”
The boxes were supplied by W. Gibbons Ltd of Princess Street, and they were distributed and collected y the local Boy Scouts. This was confirmed by a photograph which appeared in the newspaper two days later, of Boy Scouts with handcards prior to leaving the newspaper offices. By this date, over 500 boxes had already been distributed, and the newspaper had even received requests for boxes from tradesmen outside the borough of Wolverhampton, and they were considering those requests.
Further details on this campaign will be featured in future blog posts.