Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

16 erthygl ar y dudalen hon










WELSHPOOL AND THE YEOMANRY. SUPPER AT THE TOWN HALL. A MEMORABLE GATHERING. The Mayor and inhabitants of Welshpool on Thursday evening had as guests at the Town Hall, the members of the Imperial Yeomanry stationed in the town. A public subscription, started by the Mnv-iir at the meeting of the Council a week ago, resulted in over C40 being subscribed with a wil- lingness not hitherto known, the collectors, Mr T Simpson Jones and Mr W Humphreys, meeting everywhere with the heartiest response to the appeal. As a result a supper was given in the Assembly Lloom of the Town Hall. Mr A E Bond was the caterer and the spread was a most credit- able one. The arrangements were excellent, and better catering could hardly have been desired. The Mayor (Mr Dd Jones) wearing his chain of office, presided, and was supported by the Command- ing Officer, Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, Bart., Col Pryce-Jones, M.P. (who was wearing the uniform of the Yeomanry), Mr A C Humphreys-Owen, M.P., the Vicar of Welshpool (the Rev D Grimaldi Davis), Capt R Williams-Wynn, Capt C T Dugdale, Capt Graham, Capt Armstrong, Capt Geoffrey Williams- Vanghan, Capt Fitz-Ilugh, C¡¡pt Rayner, Capt Cotton, Mr Owen Williams, Lieut Dr Marston, Col Hutchins, Lieut C P Yearsley, Mr W Forrester Addie, Mr G D Harrison, Mr C E Howell, Mr C Shuker, Mr T Maldwyn Price, Mr M Powell, Mr J Evans. The scene was in every respect a memorable one. It was a great occasion born of a national crisis and a spirit of patriotism, existing not alone in Montgomeryshire but wherever the language of the Briton is spoken, an occasion which outrivals anything which has- ever occurred in the annals of this ancient town. At the cross table were the conspicuous regimentals of the officers, while at three long tables, stretching the length of the room, were the kharkiclad warriors, the heartiest gathering of men it would be possible to find. The sombre kharki colour was remarkably effective in appearance, everything was gay and sparkling and everybody was happy. To describe or attempt to convey anything more than a very ftirit idea of the enthusiasm of the gathering would end in failure. No one present could recall anything ap- proaching it, and probably IT WAS AN INCIDENT in the life of everyone present which will be im- possible of repetition. About half-past eight Mr Humphreys-Owen,M.P., who was hurrying off to London and could not stav the gathering out, gave the first speech of the evening. He could not, he said, forego the honour confided to him of drinking the health of that gallant corps (cheers). They would excuse him if, even before thl Ioya! toasis, he asked them to fill thpir glasses to their own health. There were differences of opinion about the origin of the war, but no differences of opinion as to the rigour with which it should be prosecuted. Nor again were there differences of opinion amongst them as to the debt which the country owed to those gallant fellows present that evening and to the thousands of other gallant Englishmen for going to fight the battle which the nation had made its own (cheers). And not only were Englishmen, Scotchmen, and Irishmen bound together hand ib hand in this great enterprise, but we were delighted to welcome the representatives of our great self-governing colonies, glad to know there were many of them present that evening. On behalf of the county of Mont- gomeryshire he was glad to welcome those who had thrown in their lot with the yeomen of the county (applause). He felt some feeling of shame that they were not sharing the privations and sufferings and glory of their brethren in their front line. The hon. member then sa;d You are shortly going forth to share in these lists and that glory. You will have the warmest sympathy of every man, woman, and child in this county, and I profoundly wish you a prosperous and successful campaign, and a happy and safe retwrn after a peace which shall be alike GLORIOUS TO THE VICTORS and generous to the vanquished (loud applause). The Mayor of Welshpool then gave the toast of Her Majesty the Queen," but, no sooner had the words left his lips than any eulogy he might have made in regard to the greatest and noblest woman in the world was drowned in the lusty cheering which came from those kharki-clad men represent ing the voice of all parts of the Empire. Up they jumped o the seats and with glasses high above their hea' -1, handkerchiefs waving, whips upraised, they cheured until the combined band of the Yeomanry and the 4th S.W.B. gave the first notes of God save the Queen," when all joined with the greatest heartiness in singing it, finishing with loud hurrahs and drinking the toast. The Mayor then gave The Prince and Princess of Wales and the Rest of the Royal Family." They were all aware of the great interest which the Prince of Wales had always taken in whatever was for the well-being and advancement of the country. No gentleman had taken a more prominent part in supporting the various movements than the Prince of Wales and the same was also true or the Princess of Wales.—This toast was honoured in keeping with the demonstration which accompanied the first toast and God b'ess the Prince of Wales" was played by the hand and sung by the members. -Mr Blackith at this juncture sang The Deathless Army," which was received with loud applause, the company joining in the refrain. The Vicar of Welshpool, who had the heartiest possible reception, said he rose with the greatest possible pleasure to second the toast proposed by Mr Humphreys-Owen, the toast of "The Imperial Yeomanry." It was a great pleasure to him to have the privilege of being present at such a gathering. It was A MOST UNIQUE GATHERING. No one present could remember a campaign like the present and they would have to go back to the time of the Crimea for anything like the occasion on which they had met that evening. They must all deplore the terrible war in which they were engaged and he was sorry to say, and he differed from the county member, he thought this was a war of necessity (loud and prolonged cheers). Having put their shoulders to the wheel they meant to carry it through (applause). Of course he deplored the suffering which the war entailed but on the other hand the crisis had brought out excellent traits in the national character. It had shown them how deep was the loyalty of the country. It was a loyalty which enabled them to forget the party to which they belonged, in a manner they had not known for half a century, and to realise how strong was the bond of union between the mother country and the colonies (cheers). It was a matter for heart-felt gratifica- tion to find so many young men willing to come forward, and, if need be, lay down their lives for their native country (cheers). There was another matter which gave them cau3e for special grati- fication, that so many of their friends from across the border had cast their lot under the flag of gallant little Wales (renewed cheers). He was sure they would do nothing which would tarnish the name of the Principality, rather would they do much to add to its increased honour (applause). He wished to couple with the toast the names of Sir Watkin Williams- Wynn and Captain Robert Wynn.—This was the signal for RENEWED AND LUSTY CHEERING. For they are jolly good fellows" was started in different keys and at different times as though an experiment were being made in singing it as a round. However, as some declined and others ascended, it was finished evenly and in tune, and then everybody drunk "Success to the Yeomanry and the health of Sir Watkin and Capt. Williams- Wynn." Sir Watkin said he was greatly obliged for the kind way in which Mr Davis had proposed his health and the toast they had so enthusiastically drunk, and he thanked them for the way in which they had received his name in connection with it. The little he had been abie to do in connection with the organization of those squadrons had been a work of love, a work in which he had taken the greatest interest of the whole course of his life (applause). He never thought he should be called upon to raise, equip and turn out a squadron of 230 men in something under a month's time. Thev never knew what was before them in this world, they were always living and learning, and now they were learning what it was to fight for their country. Some six weeks ago the Government called upon the volunteers to assist the regulars and though many were sceptical as to the success of this project —as to whether the yeomen would be able to leave their employment or their families-yet the question had solved itself for where the yeomen were uu- able to go, there are hundreds of others willing and ready to take their places and defend the country (applause). That gathering showed that the sort of men they wanted had come forward (Hear, hear). He only wished they had been able to have their second company present to enjoy the kind hospitality of the Mayor and town of Welshpool (applause). He considered that they owed a DEBT OF GRATITUDE to the inhabitants for the kindness they had shown on all occasions since they came. He knew that when they came to Welshpool there were little differences and frictions which must arise on having a company of soldiers billeted in a town hardly prepared for them, which hardly reckoned on them, and hardly knew of their existence until they were at their doors. They owed them a debt, of gratitude it was difficult to repay. By doing this they were doing as much for their country as the fighting man who took his rifle and made for the Boers (cheers). He took that opportunity also of saying how pleased he was with the conduct of the men since they came to Welshpool. They would be glad to know that he had had no cases of any importance and the behaviour of the 150 or 160 men who had passed through Welshpool during the last month had been of such a character that it could not be said of them, as was often said, 0 those wicked soldiers" (laughter). He had always assured the kind mothers, sisters, cousins and aunts that the Yeomanry improved the young men im. mensely. They learned the use of arms, had the benefit of discipline, which would be good for them if called upon to assist their country. Few there, or anywhere else, dreamed a year ago that they would have to go to South Africa, and it might be that they would have to fight bigger battles than they were fighting with the Boers. If they read the papers they would read of the complications which were possible with other Powers and it might be that they would have to show a bigger front than now (applause). Although England bad the smallest standing army of any great nation we have absolutely the 'largest number of volunteers- (cheers)—and not only those volunteers who weie trained but it was only necessary for the Govern- ment to say "We want men" and there were hundreds of thousands ready to respond, and he was perfectly certain he was not exaggerating when he said that this country could raise three million men to fight its battles (applause). He had thought he was going to have the opportunity of leading them in South Africa. When he started to raise the corps a month ago lie thought there were GREATER RESPONSIBILITIES than going to the field, but a month of soldiering work had changed his opinion altogether, and his only wish and only anxiety now was to be allowed to go out in command of the Welsh battalion (loud cheers). There were difficulties which stood in the way, aud if another should be appointed to lead them he knew they would follow him as willingly and as cheerfully as though he (Sir Watkin) had been chosen. Although their leader would be his brother (more cheers), he did not hestitate to say he was quite competent and capable to lead the company in action in the Transvaal. Their other officers they had had the same opportunities to know as he. Their second officer Capt Armstrong.— The very mention of Capt Armstrong had an electrifying effect. Up went hats and handker- chiefs on the ends of whips, and in no time, almost every man was standing on his chair and cheering the popular captain to the echo. Then they burst out with Lhe Britishers' hymn of praise For he's a jolly good Fellow," and sang it with intense fervour. Then they cheered again and again, and concluded by raising their glasses and drinking his very good health. When this had subsided, Sir Watkin said that after that bit of feeling towards their coming Adjutant h hardly knew how to go on. But it showed that when a man, whether a stranger or a native came amongst them and did his best as a British soldier, that work was appreciated, not only by his superiors but by the men under him (hear, hear). They would like to know chat Capt Arm- strong was the only officer who had been employed from the regular forces. He was a member of the Indian Staff Corps, and how he had got to Welsh- pool was by applying to the India Office, and from one office to another until he reached the Mont- gomeryshire Yeomanry, Cavalry, having an excel- lent character from everywhere. The first time he (Sir Watkin) met Capt Armstrong he was at the office in Suffolk street, where HE WAS WAITING PATIENTLY with an envelope containing about a hundred attestations. He had seldom seen a man who took more pains in teaching young men what they ought to do, and in making thorough soldiers of them. Sir Watkin then referred to Captain Armstrong's attendance at the departure of the nine o'clock train, and be only wished that those poor fellows who went away by it had managed to hit the target a little oftener, or keep their saddles a little better. Captain Armstrong had pleaded hard for many of them, and he knew his only wish was to go out with a thoroughly hard- working crew, such as they had there that night (loud cheers). Mr Robert Williams-Wynn also responding, said a bad cold had taken his voice away. But in any case speaking was now at an end, and for the first time in their lives most of them had the opportunity for action. He could only hope that during the short time they bad known one another the same feelings which he had for them, some of them would have for him (applause). There would be plenty of difficulties in front of them, but if they met each one as they bad already met them be was sure B Company would not be the last when they entered Pretoria as a victorious army (cheers). As Capt Wynn reached the close of his speech, there were shouts for Armstrong, Armstrong," and the men would not desist until the favourite officer was on his feet. Then they cheered, and cheered again, and as soon as this had subsided Capt Armstrong protested that he had never made a speech in his life, though many of them might think he had plenty of voice because he went on parade and shouted himself hoarse. He took that opportunity of saying he should never have been there had it not been for Sir Watkin who accepted him as a volunteer just as he had accepted them. He had received the greatest hospitality from everyone, they had treated him as a brother-in- arms. He took that opportunity to thank Sir Wat- kin for taking him. Though they could not follow Sir Watkin they would all follow his brother (ap- applause). One thing more," said Captain Arm- strong. "Although I have said 'D n your soul,' I want you all to understand it has bean from a pal to a pal (vociferous applause). I have no- thing more to say, but I think we ought to drink the health of the Montgomeryshire Yeomanry pro- per, and the health of the Mayor and those gentle- men who have entertained us so royally (renewed cheers). Trooper F C Boland then gave The Absent- minded Beggar," which was one of the MOS r POPULAR RVENTS of the whole evening. Alderman Charles Howell next proposed the toast of The Volunteers proceeding to the front" and referred to the spirited manner in which the old" Montgomeryshire Volunteer Legion under Sir Watkin's predecessor Charles Wynn was raised in the county in 1803 when the French Army threatened an invasion. The Volunteer force was at all times popular, but at this juncture the toast would be received with the greatest enthusiasm. Those brave members of the corps who had now volunteered for service in SouthAfricashould receive from civilians throughout the country every en- conragement in both words and deeds. They would be well equipped and ahly commanded, and as they were about to leave these shores might be reminded of the Roman warriors of old Nil desperandum, auspice Tencro Cras ingens iterabimus requor." We might all rest assured that they would do their duty as bravely and efficiently as any branch of the service. He himself had never attained to any rank beyond that of sergeant, and that only in a cadet corps, but he had in his short service been taught to obey his superior officer. Their worthy Mayor had limited him in his speech to five minutes and therefore in conclusion, he wished the Volunteers health and happiness and a speedy and glorious return. He coupled the toast with the name of their Borough Member, Colonel Pryce- Jones. Col Prvce-Jones, M.P., in reply, said the Bat- talion which he had the honour to command had responded to a man to the order which came from the War Office. They had furnished a sergeant, a corporal and 19 privates in accordance with the order aud they had also supplied a bugler and one officer in addition. He took the opportunity to thank them for the splendid reception, LUSTY ENTHUSIASM and good cheer they had given to his fellows who had left Newtown that day for Brecon on their way to the front. He knew that those men would do their duty in South Africa (applause). They would be associated with one of the finest regi- ments of the Queen, the descendants of the illus- trious 24th (cheers), and now he wished to refer to what those gallant men and others were doing throughout the country for the greatness of our country. A short time ago the news of their dif- ferent reverses went through the whole world, but the loyalty of our colonies and the gallant way in which those gentlemen of all stations and all degrees in life had come forward showed that they had a common cause, a common interest, and a desire to represent Great Britain in this memorable crisis (applause). There could be no doubt but that the result of that campaign would be the means of making our great country greater and stronger in every sense than it has ever been before. It would weld together not only our great forces in the United Kingdom but those of our colonies. It would mean the strengthening of the Empire, the knitting together of the colonies and dependencies, would strengthen and solidify our Empire, which was great already but would be greater when this campaign is over and victory is achieved. We should treat our friends the Boers with freedom and justice, give them the religious, municipal and social rights which we enjoy in our own country and which are enjoyed in all our colonies and dependencies, and which, they would insist, should be enjoyed by their fellow-countrymen out in the Transvaal (applause). And this Empire, having succeded in bringing about that happy state of things, would be a great power for good throughout the world. It would enable them to develop the inexhaustible resources of our colonies, to extend the commerce of our country and to make the nation greater and stronger in the future. Oa behalf of his small but growing battalion he wished the Imperial Yeomanry associated with the Mont- gomeryshire Yeomanry, a triumphant victory, and that they might secure a permanent peace WITH IMPERISHABLE HONOUR. After Mr Wendell Jones had contributed a humorous song, Sir Watkin proposed the health of the junior commanding officers and the senior working officers. He referred particularly to Capt Rayner and Lieut Cotton, remarking that the lat- ler had taken a special interest in the horses, and that they owed a great deal to him for the excellent condition in which the horses had been kept. There were two other officers who worked unre- mittingly and who did not come in for the honour and glory which fell to those who went out to the front. They would remain at home and assist in the organisation of the forces going out. He re- ferred to Captain Dugdale—(loud and prolonged applause followed by drinking Captain Dugdale's health)—he was glad to see them drink Captain Dugdale's health in such a hearty manner becausejhe had one of the most important departments to look after. They would know what that meant later on when they had had two or three cold nights out in the grass, and they would then think what a nice man Capt Dugdale was to stir up the county of Montgomery to make sleeping caps, as the ladies haddone. Capt Vaughan had also given his good labours unremittingly since they began oper- ations (loud cheers during which all joined in drinking Capt Vaughan's health). These officers had done a great deal and he thought they should THINK MORE KINDLY of them for giving their services now because they were not going to fight. There were three who would have to stay at home—Capt Vaughan, Capt Dugdale, and himself, bmt there was as much work to be done at home as away. If Capt Dugdale was not going out the only person to be blamed was himself for appointing the younger officers. He gave them the health of those officers coupled with the name of Capt Dugdale. Capt Dugdale replied in a very witty speech. It unfortunately fell to his lot as the baldest headed man in the room to respond for those unfortunate officers who were not goiug out. Their hearts were with them, and would be 80 until they came back. He was certain of one thing, that the officers who were guing to lead them in South Africa would be only too thankful to have such a body of men behind them. There was one thing they had shown, that whatever the Yeomanry had done in the past, they were willing and ready to send out as good a body of cavalry as could be got together. His brain was full of sixteen-and-elevenpence that night—(loud laughter)—and they would agree with him when he hoped that no one had had more than that sum. He never thought they would have come to this. May they all meet after the war and may they all think it was no bad thing to fight for England (loud applause). Captain Rayner who also replied briefly said he was confident they had got together a body of young men from all parts of the world who would do justice to England (applause). Captain Fitz- Hugh complying with the demand of the men also responded in a few words. Mr R W Hammond then gave The Admiral's Broom in excellent fashion. Captain Dugdale said chat before they separated they must not forget the toast of Their Hosts- the inhabitants of Welshpool," coupled with the name of their worthy Mayor. They had been a WELCOME BODY OF ME8 to the town of Welshpool and they had shown them that they wished them God-speed. Be- sides thanking the town he wished to thank all those in the county who had helped to supply the equipment. They all knew that the Government allowance had not been sufficient to meet all the equipment. If they could do anything to increase their credit at the bankers they wished it go forth that they were still X500 or C600 short of meeting the equipment and he hoped that that mention of the fact would be sufficient to ensure his receiving the remainder of the money.—The toast was drunk with splendid enthusiasm. The Mayor in reply said that if there was one thing be should remember in connection with his office as Mayor of Welshpool it was that gathering with the members of the Montgomeryshire Yeomanry Cavalry. He said without hesitation that a firmer body of men he had never seen. One or two had said that the town received the volunteers coldly at first but they were a bit conservative in their views though as they came to know them they also came to like them (applause). He wished them success and if they might happen to visit Welshpool, the people of Welshpool would be glad to see them. Mr E W Haigh having sung "The Village Black- smith," Sir Watkin referred to a statement in one of the papers that because General Buller had taken Spion Kops the Yeomanry would not go out. It was strange that the Argus should have this intelli- gence which must have been printed about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. At seven o'clock he received a telegram asking how soon they would be prepared to go out. He replied that they were ready to be inspected any day and ready to SAIL TOGETHER ON FRIDAY. (Loud cheers). There was one duty in which he hoped they would join with him, in an expression of thanks to the Vicar of Welshpool for the kind advice he bad given them on two Sundays and the bold and determined speech he had made that night (cheerp). The Vicar had inspired them from the pulpit on different Sundays that they were fighting for the liberty and freedom which exists wherever the flag of this country waves. He coupled also with the name of the Vicar of Welshpool, the Militia Staff, Capt. Graham, and the Sergteants at the ciepôt who had given time to make the men as efficient as possible. He also included the name of Dr Marston to whom they all went when they were in extremis. The Vicar, Captain Graham, and Dr Marston having responded, Trooper Nelligan gave a seleetion on the banjo, and Corporal Conaby a song, Who carries the gun," which was encored. This most memorable gathering was brought to a conclusion with the singing of God Save the Queen." During the supper the Band of the 4th S.W.B. gave selections, and Drummer Roberts played a couple of pieces on the harp. Mr Maldwyn Price accompanied the songs in his usual capable manner. Outside the Town Hall some remarkable incidents were witnessed. Captain Armstrong on leaving the Hall was seized by his comrades and carried shoulder high to the Royal Oak. The men gathered round under the window, and while Sir Watkin was endeavouring to address them the door of the' hotel was thrust open, the men rushed up the stairs, seized the commanding officer, and amid loud hurrahs carried him down the stairs, along- Broad street, and back again round the Cross Pump. No sooner had he been carried back to the mess room than Captain Wynn received a similar ex- pression of popularity, and following him, Captain Dugdale, Captain Rayner, Captain Vaughan, and Captaiu Fitz-Hugh, the men cheering lustily all the while. It was a wonderful demonstration of good feeling, and those who witnessed it will carry the remembrance of Thursday night through many long years.








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