Cursory inspection of the June editions of the Rhyl Journal, 1944, reveal nothing about the Normandy Landings – D-Day.
Above: A soldier from the 101st Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, 12th King’s Regiment (Liverpool) 3rd Division prepares for D-Day.
The Rhyl Journal was, however, full of the latest National Savings Movement initiative : The Rhyl and District “Salute the Soldier” Week – Saturday 10th June – Saturday 17th June.
“Save your Pounds to Save your Soldiers”
The National Savings Movement* was instrumental during World War 2 in raising funds to support the war effort. Local savings weeks were held which were promoted by posters with titles such as “Lend to Defend the Right to be Free”, “Save your way to Victory” and “War Savings are Warships”.
Rhyl had held three previous National Savings campaigns and in June 1944 the town embarked on a fourth whirlwind campaign “Salute the Soldier”. On Saturday June 10th almost the entire length of the promenade was lined with spectators when a military and home defence parade was held.
The target figure for the savings campaign was £250,000, including targets of £2,000 from Cwm, £5,000 from Bodelwyddan, £1,500 from Rhuallt and Waen, £6,000 from Rhuddlan, £12,000 from St. Asaph and £1,500 from Tremeirchion.
An elaborate “saluting base” was constructed on the promenade opposite the the top of High street which included a “target indicator”. Each day, at 6pm, prominent speakers and townspeople announced the daily totals and a massed choir of children sang.
These exerpts are from the paper of June 15th:
This is a Call to every man and woman in RHYL, ST. ASAPH, RHUDDLAN, BODELWYDDAN, RHUALLT, TREMEIRCHION and CWM.
It is a Bond Between every family and its members at home or overseas.
A Tribute from every father and mother, every sweetheart and wife, to their loved ones in the Army; for our SOLDIERS come from nearly every home in the land.
The paper was also described all the ambitious and exciting events and attractions that the week had to hold, the proceeds of which were donated to the Army Benevolent Funds.
The grand programme of events included:
Saturday 10th – Grand March and Salute, from Foryd to the Saluting Base. Rabbit Show in the Pavilion Gardens, organised by Rhyl Rabbit Club. Salute the Soldier Fun Fair on the promenade (all week). Demonstration by A.A. Searchlight, A.T.S.
Sunday 11th – “From Broomsticks to Bombshells” (depiction of the growth of the Home Guard) in the Queen’s Gardens. “The Canteen Follies Salute the Soldier”, Rhyl Pavilion Theatre.
Monday 12th – Wireless Instruction in the Army, a demonstration at The Alhambra.
Tuesday 13th – “Mile of Pennies”, a P.T. display by the A.T.S, the Salute the Soldier Ball at the Queen’s Ballroom.
Wednesday 14th – Arrival at the Foryd of the King and Queen Hi -De -Hi of Ho -De -Ho, complete with their Court of Twirps. The Salute the Soldier Official Exhibition at the Pavilion Theatre.
Thursday 15th – Salute the Soldier Gala – Rhyl Football Field (All the Fun of the Fair, Youth Salutes the Soldier, Morris Dancing, May Queens, Children’s Choir, Horse and Pony competitions, Military Bands etc.)
Friday 16th – Salute the Soldier Baby Show, Pavilion Theatre. Wireless Demonstration, promenade.
Saturday 17th – National Fire Service Display, Pavilion Gardens. Motor Cycle Display, Rhyl Football Field.
Sunday 18th – “The Show of the Season” at the Queen’s Theatre with Tommy Handley (It’s that man again).
Below is a facsimile reproduction of a notice in the Rhyl Journal:
The target of £250,000 was reached, and more. The eventual amount was £324,082 – 5s – 9d, over twelve and half million pounds in today’s money.
We salute the soldier.
*The National Savings Movement was a British mass savings movement that operated between 1916-1978 and was used to finance the deficit of government spending over tax revenues.