Fauldhouse War Savings
As well as giving to war charities, the public were urged by the Government to buy war savings bonds.
By 1916, the war was costing the country some £5 million a day, and the Government was almost bankrupt. In order to keep paying for the war, they needed to borrow money; and some of it was borrowed from their own population. People were bombarded with propaganda that their patriotic duty was to buy war savings bonds. The offered rate of return (in five years’ time) was 5% - a very generous return, though there may have been doubt in some people’s minds that the Government would be able to afford it. Every town and village had its War Savings Association, as did many individual churches, schools and factories. In 1917 and 1918, there were several national war savings campaigns, when targets were set: from £80 to provide a machine gun, up to £2.5 million for a fully-equipped Dreadnought battleship!
Fauldhouse folk gave generously to war charities, and in addition they played their full part in the war savings campaigns. The war savings club in Fauldhouse Public School was especially effective, with the children saving some £150-£200 per month.
On 23 March 1917, the West Lothian Courier reported:
About a month ago this association was formed, and since its inception the money has simply flowed into the hands of the treasurer. The roll of membership stands at 425, and the sum of £605 has been invested in 15s 6d Savings Certificates. The scheme has fairly caught on with the children, whose enthusiasm is at fever heat.
And on 5 July 1918, the West Lothian Courier reported:
At Fauldhouse School, the children have invested the large sum of £3,500. For a country school we believe this constitutes a record.
During Scottish Savings Week in 1918, ‘Fauldhouse hoped to save enough to pay for two aeroplanes; in the end they raised enough for six.’ As a reward, the town was given an aerobatic display by three aeroplanes.
On 26 April 1918, the West Lothian Courier reported:
They flew at an exceptionally low altitude, now swooping down almost to the housetops, and then soaring aloft again, circling round and round the village, and giving them all a fine exhibition of the powers of those wonderful machines, when skilfully handled. The children cheered the pilots to the echo, who waved time and again, though it is doubtful whether they could hear above the roaring of their engines.
©1914-18: Fauldhouse Remembers Group
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