Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

7 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

Recruiting at Abergavenny.I

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Recruiting at Abergavenny. I MAGISTRATES AND TOWN COUNCIL TAKE I ACTION. Abergavennv has now taken definite steps to provide its quota to the new army of 100.000 called for by Lord Kitchener. A meeting of the local magistrates and members of the Town Council was held in the Magistrates room at the Police Station oil Monday morning, for the purpose of taking the preliminary steps as suggested in a communication from Sir Ivor Herbert (Lord Lieutenant of the County). Mr. F. P. J. Hanbury (chairman of the Magis- trates) presided, and the Bench was also repre- sented by Mr. J. O. Marsh, Ur. W. D. Steel, Mr. H. C. Steel, Mr. W. I.. Thomas, Major Willams, Mr. W. H. Routledge, Mr. Robert Johnson, Mr. F. M. Humfrev, Mr. J. Merton Jones, Mr. Edw n Foster. The Town Council representatives were Alderman Wheatlev (Deputy Mayor), Councillors Jv J. Rutlier, O. R. Plowman, Alfred Graham, and \V. Horsington. There were also present Mr. Reg. Herbert, of Clytha. and the Rev. H. H. .Matthew (Vicar of St Mary's). Lord Lieutenants Letter. The following was the communication trom the Lord lieutenant, 011 which Mr. F. 1'. J. Hanbury convened the meeting — Llanarth Court, Raglan, loth August, i<)i (. Dear Sir,l'arliament having voted an increase of 500,000 men to the Regular Army, I have been invited, as His Majesty's Lieutenant for the Countv of Monmouth, by the Secretary of State of War. to undertake the duty of organ- ising the recruiting in the county of Monmouth, and I call with confidence on the Magistrates. chairmen and members of local bodies to co- operate in carryIng ont this important duty. The patriotic response that is being made everywhere to the call of His Majesty the King, leaves no doubt that all the men requisite will be promptly forthcoming but the work of collecting men and transferring them from civil life to the new army which is being created, demand system and the active assistance of all leading men, including ministers of religion and of all public bodies. The first step should be the formation of committees, whose function will t), to register and classify, according to age and capacity, all men who arc willing to undertake military service. These should be provided with a card bearing the name of the district, and a number, and arrangements should be made for their being assembled readily when required. The following are the principal centres for such work. and at some committees are already being formed A!>ergaveimy, Abercarn, Abertillery, "Bassaleg and Rogerstone, Bedwas and Machen, Blackwood and Pontllanfraith, Blaenavon, Castleton and St. Mellons, Chepstow, Crumlin, Cwmbran and Llantarnain, Caerleon. Ivbbw Vale, Monmouth, Xautyglo, Newport, Ponty- pool and Abersychan, Panteg and Griffithstown, Risca and Pontymister, Tredegar, Usk. Smaller committes can be formed in the adjoining dis- tricts and affiliated to the above. County depots for the subsequent reception of recruits will be formed, whence they will be transferred to the Army centres to be clothed and equipped but -the first work which I commend to your earnest attention is the registration of all men willing to serre. I a:11, yours faithfully, IVOR Herbert, H.M's. Lieutenant for County of Monmouth. The Chairman said they had all, no doubt seen the Lord Lieutenant's letter. He thought the best way of carrying out the suggestions of the Lord Lieutenant would be to appoint a small committee of four—one representing the Magistrates, one representing the Town Council, one representing the Churches of all denomin- ations, and Col. Steel representing the Terri- torial Force. Col. Steel had been more or less told by the Lord Lieutenant to act upon this committee. Major Williams Do I understand that this meeting is simply for rccruiting ) The Chairman Yes to carry these proposals into effect in the best possible way. Mr. J. O. Marsh Recruiting for what ? The Chairman It is to organise recruiting in the county for Lord Kitchener's army. Mr. Reg. Herbert said they would have to select some headquarters and appoint someone to register the names and forward the necessary papers Notices would also have to be put up that anyone who wished to join would have to go to the headquarters appointed'. Major Williams Is not Col. Steel the recruit- ing officer ? Col. Steel I have not been formally ap- pointed, but the Lord Lieutenant has given me certain instructions. Will the Civilian Force Ctash ? _.1 I- ? .1 Mr. H. C. Steel asked it it would not clash with the local civilian force which was being formed. Col. Steel said he did not think it would really cla.-Ii. Councillor S. J. Ruthtr said the authorities did not seem to favour the formation of civilian forces. The Chairman -No on the contrary, they rr* her disapprove of them. Atr. Reg. Herbert said the objection was that it might interfere with recruiting for the regular army. But there was th; consideration that in the civilian force they might get many men who would not join as recruits. The Deputy Mavor said that was their idea in forming the civiiian force. They might get men who wished to show their patriotism by joining the force, who could not get away from their business or were not eligible for the army. A good many of them were over age, and their intention was to enlist their help for local pur- poses in this time of need. He proposed that they appoint a committee, as the Chairman had suggested, but lie thought they ought to have two representatives of the churches instead of one. If they had both branches of the Church represented on the committee, they would get greater support and more unanimity in their work. The Chairman thought they should also ap- point the Chairman of the Rural District Council, which would bring the number of the c(mmittee up to six. The Deputy Mayor thought they ought to have an odd number on the committee, and as they would have to appeal to the working classes to support that movement and it was from the working classes they would have to get their recruits, they should appoint a direct I reoresentative of labour on the committee. Major Williams said he should like a thorough understanding. They were there for the pur- pose of recruiting, but that had nothing to do with the civil guard, and they would still go on with the latter movement. A number of young fellows had joined, and there was not the slightest doubt that in time many would enlist in Lord Kitchener's force. From the Cadets which had been formed in the county, a number had joined tho Territorials, and were with them to-day. He, therefore, thought they ought to encourage drilling in a mild -.vay by means of the civilian volunteer force. The Chairman This has nothing to do with the citizen army at all. Mr. Reg. Herbert What is the committee to do ? 1.1r<: Chairman: To carry into effect this letter of the Lord Lieutenant. Mr. Peg. Herbert That is no use unless you have instructions what should be done. Col, Steel The Lord Lieutenant's letter gives precise instructions as to what to do. Mr. Reg. Herbert How do you suggest you are going to get hold of the men ? Recruiting Officers in Each Parish. Col. Steel said lie was going to suggest that they should appoint for each of the 22 parishes in that division some one of their number, or someone in whom they had confidence, to publish notices and to get men registered in accordance with the request of the Lord Lieuten- ant. Then, when the time came, the Lord lieutenant proposed to form camps of in- struction for the men to be sent to. The Lord lieutenants letter was quite definite, and the best way of carrying it out was to have repre- sentatives for each parish in the division. v Mr. Reg. Herbert remarked that he was there as representing the Raglan Bench of Magis- trates, to see what course they should adopt in that district. He asked why was Raglan not included in the list of places mentioned. Col. Steel said it would probably come in under Usk. Mr. Reg. Herbert said they were yen- en- thusiastic at Raglan. He had a meeting 'there on Saturday night, and fifty young fellows attended and they were all willing to join. Mr. F. M. Humfrey said he did not think the churches should be represented on the com- mittee. They would have to appoint represen- tatives of the Romanists and every denomin- ation. The Clergy might be depended upon to give them every loyal assistance, but it would be much better to have a committee as originally proposed. The fewer the committee the better. There would be less talk and more action. Mr. Reg. Herbert A committee of three with two absent. (Laughter). Councillor Rutlier thought it would be a great advantage to have representatives of employers of labour on the committee. Col. Steel said there was no object in making the committee too small. They must have a representative committee. He agreed with Mr. Humfrey that it (lid not come within the provine c of the clergy to act on such a committee. He thought they certainly ought to have a representative of labour, and should distribute the work as evenly as possible over a large number of men. He proposed that they have a committee of seven. The Deputy Mavor seconded. Mr. J. Merton Jones supported, remarking that they would have to draw the bulk of tl-ieir support from the labour ranks. Councillor Graham said lie felt very strongly that it was only reasonable and fair that labour should have a voice on that very important committee, coming, as lie did, very closely in contact with the working men, who formed a very large proportion of those who were serving their country in this serious crisis. The Rev. H. H. Matthew said it would be just as well to leave the churches out. The clergy and ministers would give every support they could, but they had plenty of work and many committees to attend, and he thought they should be left out. It was decided to have a committee of seven, and the following representatives were ap- pointed -Count N- Magistrates, Mr. F. P. J. Hanbury Town Council, Alderman Z. Wheat- leN- Rural District Council, Mr. R. Johnson; Territorial Force, Col. W. D. Steel employers of labour, Mr. Jim Thomas and Mr. Percy Cooper labour, Mr. Robert Workman. Mr. J. O. Marsh said he hoped the committee would carry out the suggestion that some person be appointed for each parish. He thought something more serious to consider was whether there was going to be any clashing. He was glad to hear that the civil guard would not clash in any way. He hoped that would be so. They had every confidence in Lord Kitchener and his scheme, and none of them would like to do any- thing against it. The fear was that young men, in joining the civic guard, would think they had done enough and would go no further. They had read the official statement that there must be 110 such clashing. To Limit the Civilian Guard. I Mr. Reg. Herbert said the difficulty could be got over by only enlisting those in the civil guard who were not of the proper age)o go into the Regulars or the Territorials. Sir. J. 0. Marsh said that if the civil guard were for the purpose lie took them to be—to keep order in the town and to help the author- ities—they would find plenty of men over age for the purpose. He was one over 70 ready to join. They would not accept him to go any- where else, but lie was ready to join the civil guard. Major Williams said lie was afraid that Mr. Marsh was under a wrong impression. What they were doing with the civil guard was merely drilling, and it was very healthv exercise and did the young lads of the town good. If they wanted to join, they would join. It was all verv fine to sit there talking, but recruits were very hard to get. Mr. Marsh said the form which had to be signed for the civil guard distinctly said for the protection and good government of the borough." If the young fellows thought they had done enough by joining that force, then it was clashing. The Deputy Mayor said they did not wish to act in opposition to anyone. The first thing was to inculcate discipline. They proposed to call together that night those who had enrolled in the civil guard, and Col. Steel was going to appeal to the young men to enlist iu the Army. The civil guard was a means of getting the young men together, and formed a nucleus for the Regular Army. The Rev. H. H. Matthew suggested that they might send forth an expression of opinion from that meeting that no one should be enrolled in the civil guard who was between the ages mentioned in Lord Kitchener's appeal. The Deputy Mayor said that Col. Rees, who was in command of the civil fcrce, had written to the War Office, and the latter had not dis- countenanced the movement at all. The War Office would issue a circular letter if it was ad- visable to discontinue the movement, but it was hoped that they would be able h get official sanction to the formation of civic bodies. The Chairman suggested that they do not enrol anyone in the civic guard under the age of 4° years until the end of six months. Col. Steel said they fully appreciated what Mr. Marsh had said, but both the Deputy Mayor and Major Williams were fully aware of the view the authorities had taken in regard to the civil guard, and they would work in full deference to that view. He she uld like to mention that Mr. Lionel Whitehead, of Ebhw Vale, bad, at his ,bl)w N-a!.e, b,-ttl, at Ii i own expense, raised and equipped a company 01 fifty men for their 3rd Battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment. He had sent a cheque .or ^250 to the County Association for the purpose. He brought them down two or three days ago, and a fine lot of men. they were. They were hoping to draft them off to the regiment on Wednesday, and he should like to show their appreciation of Mr. Whitehead's patriotism, if some of the gentlemen present, who were representative of different classes of the community, could see their way to give the men a good send-off. (Applause). He should like to propose a very liearty vote of thanks to Mr. Whitehead for his generosity. The Deputy Mayor said that, as representing the town, he should be very pleased to second. He thought the town was veiy greatly indebted to Mr. Whitehead, not only for equipping these men but for giving liimself and his money to the service of the country. The proposition was carried. The Deputy Mayor said ther were still people who would want ,0 go in the civil guard. They could not leave the town, and they wanted to help as much as they could. Mr. Edwin Foster agreed. Major Williams said they should induce all they could to join the Regular Army from the civilian force. but if they w:re going to put att. age limit they would stop a good many. The Chairman Surely if they are available foi the Army it will not stop them. Mr. Reg. Herbert It seems rather a farce to join the civil guard when you might join Kit- chener's force. At the same time, there are many men who cannot get away, and it is hard on them not to have something to* do. Col. Steel You may trust the authorities not to enlist anybody who is eligible for Kitchener's Army. It was generally agreed by those present that no one should be enlisted in the civil guard who was available for Kitchener's Army. Major Williams looking round such a fine body of men, I invite you all to join our civil guard. Mr. Marsh can join me in the ranks. A Million Veterans. I Mr. J. Merton Jones said there was a force of at least a million men ready to hand for home protection. He was an old Volunteer—one of the oldest. He had never withdrawn his oath, and it was as binding on him to-day as it was fifty years ago. He was ready to fight, and he thought he could account for two or three Germans now. (Hear, hear). He could shoot as straight as ever, and there were thousands upon thousands of such men in the country, and they should be invited to come forward. Col. Steel said lie had been in communication with the Secretary of the County Association, who told him that something more would be heard probably in the next few days in regard to the National Reserves. Mr. Merton Jones said there was a willing army lying ready to hand for heme protection. Mr. Reg. Herbert said the National Reserves were restricted to those who had previously been in the service. A vote of thanks was accorded the Chairman, on the proposition of Mr. J. Merton Jones, seconded by Alderman Wheatley. A

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