The Arthur Conan Doyle EncyclopediaThe Arthur Conan Doyle EncyclopediaThe Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, KStJ, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

Dickens and our Blinded Heroes

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Dickens and our Blinded Heroes is a letter co-signed by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in The Scotsman on 1st july 1918. It was reprinted in many British newspapers between 1st july and 1st august 1918.


Dickens and our Blinded Heroes

The Scotsman (1 july 1918, p. 3)

Sir, — We desire to appeal to the many lovers of Charles Dickens throughout the world to help us to establish the Home for Blinded Soldiers and Sailors, now secured at St. Leonards-on-Sea, which we desire to endow in the name of the great novelist and humanist.

The men for whom this institution is being founded (under the conjoint auspices of the Dickens Fellowship and the St. Dunstan's Hostels for Blinded Soldiers), and with the patronage of the Prime-Minister. Mr. Balfour, and others, are essentially typical of those whom he loved, portrayed, and immortalised. The Mark Tapleys and the Sam Wellers are to be found in the trenches or on the seas to-day, playing their part in the grim struggle now being fought out on the Western Front or about our coasts, with the same cheeriness, good humour, and buoyancy as characterised their prototypes in "Pickwick" and "Martin Chuzzlewit."

It is for these we plead — these upon whom has fallen the curtain of awful darkness, shattering their vision and clouding the brightness of their spirits until "the day dawn and the shadows flee away."

At "Bannow," St. Leonards-on-Sea, a beautiful home for these tragic victims of the war has been provided, and our purpose is to equip and endow it in the name of the great Englishman whose writings taught us to love and humour the superb qualities and virtues inherent in the common stock of his race.

In appealing for these men, who were his special care, we plead for Dickens also. To quote the words of his biographer, Forster, they were "not merely his clients, for whom he won the laughter and applause of all the world, but, in sort, his very self."

Cheques should be addressed to W. Walter Crotch, Esq., President of the Dickens Fellowship, 14, Clifford's Inn. Fleet-street, London, E.C.4, and crossed "Messrs. Coutts and Co." — Yours faithfully,

SYDENHAM,
CHEYLESMORE,
BERESFORD (Admiral),
S. M. EARDLEY WILMOT, Rear Admiral (retd.)
AUCKLAND GEDDES,
D. HAIG,
E. B. ASHMORE (Major-General),
JOS. H. LAYE (Major-General),
J. B. JARDINE (Brig.-General),
JOHN B. ARMAGH,
F. E. SARUM,
HENRY, ST. EDMUNDSBURY AND IPSWICH,
BERNARD VAUGHAN,
J. H. HERTZ, Chief Rabbi,
GEORGE H. ROBERTS,
CLAUD J. HAMILTON,
FREDERICK TREVES,
SIDNEY LEE,
CONAN DOYLE,
G. K. CHESTERTON,
JOHN HARE,
D. MACKENZIE WALLACE.


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