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Welsh Nonconformists and the…

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Welsh Nonconformists and the Army." To the Editor of the FREE PRESS. Dear Sir,—I should very much like you to re- produce Colonel Wynne Edwards' letter to The Times on the above subject, which appears in that paper to-day, and which it an answer to a letter from Col Howard in The Timet of Thursday last. I am chairman of the Den- bighshire Territorial Force Association, and, in answer to an appeal made by me, the Mayors of Wrexham, Buthin, and Denbigh, came forward at once, and formed Comnaittees, which were of the greatest service in inducing men to join. The names of those Mayoia, and the names ef those on their ComsaittaM, prove tnat Nonconformists, in Denbighshire, at any rate, are not backward in trying to persuade men to join the Territorial Force.-I am. sir, yours truly, ARTHUR MESHAM, Colonel. Pontruffydd, Trefnant, R.S.O., North Wales, September 29th, 1908. The letter referred to is as follows :— Sir,—Colonel Howard's letter to The Timet last Thursday is calculated to do considerable J injury to the Territorial Army in Wales, as it gives a wrong impression of the attitude of Welsh Nonconformity generally towards the force. There is a class which, partly from bigotry, but chiefly from an erroneous idea of the conduct of military camps, is bitterly opposed to all forms of military training, and probably this class is more numerous among the Non- conformists of some of the Welsh counties, which have seen little or nothing of such train- ing, than in other parts of the country, which have been brought into contact with the military. In Denbighshire several of the Noncon- formist leaders are among the most active members of the County Association. These gentlemen have used every effort to induce young men to join. The mayors of several towns and employers of labour who belong to the Free Churches have held out every induce- ment to their townsmen and employs to enlist, with the result that by camp time 852 men had been enrolled, of whom 819, or 96 per cent., attended camp for the full 15 days. The following is an extract from a notice posted by a Nonconformist firm in their works. After naming 18 men who had their permission to attend, it goes on We regret that more of our employes have not joined the North Wales Brigade. In our opinion, it is the duty of every able-bodied youth in Wales to join the local Army force. We wish to assure our employes that we look with favour upon all those who enrol them- selves in the local corps, and shall afford them every facility for following their service." If the example of these Welsh Nonconformists was followed by employers of all creeds throughout the United Kingdom, the success of our Territorial Army would be assured. No religious census of the men of the Denbigh- shire Battalion has ever been taken, but by far the larger proportion of them are Noncon- formists. This being so, with the approval of the Army Council I appointed the Rev R E Morris, B.A., Oxon, Calvinistic Methodist minister at Wrexham, one of the chaplains of the corps. The gentleman came to camp with us, and remained the whole fortnight as the guest of his brother officers. When the camp broke up I asked him to write mr his impressions of the training. I have received the following letter from him :— Dear Colonel,—You asked me to write you a letter giving my impressions of the I Terriers and of camp life. The whole thing certainly was an eye-opener to me, and I feel it my duty to inform my friend3 of this. I am able to tell them that thousauds of young men can be kept together in excellent order and very effectively trained as soldiers—that the country owes a debt of gratitude to the gentlemen who so patriotically undertake the arduous duty of training them. I have spoken to many, and all have been glad to hear and seemed well disposed towards the movement. I gave some of my impressions to my own congregation the first Sunday I occupied the pulpit after my return, and they all seemed to be qiite delighted with the remarks. I have visited Merionethshire and Carnarvonshire, and took occasion to explain matters to some of our leaders. They were quite prepared to encourage young men to join the T.A.'—Yours very truly, R. E. MORRIS." While men of this stamp are at the head of the Nonconformist movement the old Welsh spirit of loyalty and patriotism will not die out.—Yours truly, T. A. WYNNE EDWARDS, Colonel, Comnr aading 4th R.W.F,, J Plas Nantglyn. September 26th, 1908. A letter in the Times from Colonel Owen 1 acmas, late commanding officer Prince of Wales' Light Hcrse, contained the following to Colonel Howard — T will lay him an even £ 1,000 that I will ^ccruitin North Wales, in four weeks, 1,000 ae;i, all Nonconformists, for the Territorial Ai my. The money to go to any charitable object which we may agree. I am leaving for Africa next month, but my challenge holds good till next year, when I shall be back in this country. Colonel Howard has maligned men as good as himself-men who at great personal sacrifices have served their conntry without any sort of recognition-and are nevertheless ready as ever to do it again. I trust he will either accept my challenge or withdraw his imputation against the loyalty and patriotism of Welsh Nonconformists."

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