Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

15 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



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MODEL TRUANT BOYS. One portion of the report on reformatory and in- dustrial schools, which has recently been issued, has a. special interest, and indicates what can be done with the roughest material. Glory may be achieved by the boy, from the reformatory and industrial school as by the young officer who graduates at Sandhurst or Woolwich. Some boys who have made a bad start in early life before they were really con- scious of the duties they owed to themselves and society, have lived to win renown in South Africa, and others have died for their country, and found soldiers' graves on the veldt. The inspector de- votes several paragraphs in his report to the army as a career for the young scallywag, who in the opinion of Lord Cbailes Beresford forms a good seaman as experience has shown, he may become an ornament to the army. Mr. J. G. Legge supports the views of the gallant captain of the Condor in the following passage: There is not the slighest doubt that enlistment in the army and navy is to be commended as a means of disposal for the boys in Home Office Schools. These boys are the stuff out of which good sailors and soldiers are made; they are quick-witted, full of courage, reckless even to a fault, and the open-air life and steady discipline are just what suits them. On enlistment they are saved from returning to the surroundings which proved their bane in childhood. Finally, there is a fitness in boys who owe much of their education to the State repaying their debt in service to the State." Proceeding to refer to the splendid part which boys trained in reformatory and industrial schools have played in the campaign in South Africa, the inspector remarks: Nobly have many of them recently discharged their debt to the State. From information furnished at short notice this summer by a large number of schools it appears that 2597 old boys are known to have been at the front. Of these 113 have been killed or have died of disease, 272 have been wounded or invalided, one has been recommended for the Victoria Cross, five for the Distinguished Service Medal, one for a commission, and quite a number have earned promotion. Some of the larger schools have been unable to furnish the information with the speed required, and all the schools will no doubt find as days go by that they have fresh names to add. Thus it may be possible next year to pub- lish revised figures which will largely exceed the above, but, as they stand, the figures are eloquent enough. Of the distinctions gained one was for con- spicuous gallantry at Spion Kop, another for helping to save the guns at Colenso. At Elandslaagte a third hero placed his body between the enemy and his wounded colonel. A fourth hero was the driver referred to in the following extract from the Daily Telegraph: Two of our batteries, the 18th and the 75th, bore the brunt of the battle (at the Modder River), discharging 2000 rounds, the 75th having to retire for want of ammunition. Just before they withdrew a tremendous fire was concentrated on them. Major Lindsay was wounded, two men (a gunner and a driver) were killed, 11 wounded, and 25 horses lost. The gallant driver, though shot through the lung, drove his gun out." "A few other interesting details may be given. The hero of the Victoria Cross was a notable truant in his day. He probably thinks the distinction he has gained worth a hatful of school-attendance medals, and such is the perversity of human nature, most people will probably agree with him. A boy who left a London school in 1891 was in a position to join the C.I.V., and thus gained the freedom of the City of London. An old Redhill boy, owning a farm in one of the colonies, joined a troop of Colonial Volunteers for scouting duty, was wounded and sent to England. He has recovered, and gone off again to the front. His farm all the time had been left by him in charge of a former schoolmate." These striking facts overshadow the more or less dry details of the work carried on in these 228 reformatory, industrial, and truant schools, with their 6156 boys and 1050 girls, at a cost of £ 544,499. The inspector reveals a wide sympathy and an appreciation of the excellent schemes of in- dustrial training.


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