Ulster Gift Fund

Biography/History

Formed in September 1939, the Ulster Gift Fund was established by the women of Ulster in an attempt to help ease the suffering of local men engaged in the Second World War. Providing clothing and bandages to military hospitals and woollen comforts to serving troops, the fund was organised by a large number of Ulsterwomen from all parts of the province and from all sections of society. Its membership ran to many thousands co-ordinated into 298 depots with headquarters at 2 Bedford Street, Belfast. In May 1942 a Prisoners-of-War service was instituted and for the next three-and-a-half years the Fund came to be the channel of communication with London on all subjects relevant to prisoners from Northern Ireland. With the end of the war, the balance of the Fund's huge stockpiles of hospital supplies, was gradually distributed throughout civilian hospitals in Northern Ireland and branches of the Red Cross and the balance of comforts likewise issued to men still on active service. The work of the Fund finally ended on 28 February, 1946.