Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

5 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



"THE GALLANT FOURTH." ROUTE MARCH THROUGH DENBIGHSHIRE. STIRRING SCENES AT LLANGOLLEN. On Monday last the Fourth Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers commenced a fort- night's route march through the county for the purpose of securing recruits to redress the wastage of war suffered during the long per- iod they have been in the trenches, viz., since Nov. 5th. In that long period the strength of the battalion has been reduced to 400. Mr. Alfred Seymour Jones, of Wrexham, is the principal instigator of the movement that has the support Of the County Council and the local authorities throughout the County. The detachment, headed by a bugle band, left Wrexham at nine o'clock on Monday. The party, numbering 100, with Lieut. A. E. Evans in command, marched through Mar- chwiel to Overton Bridge and thence to Ruabon and Cefn Mawr for the night. The first inci- dent of note occurred before the soldiers had left the town. An infuriated bullock charged the bugle band and succeeded in running its horns through the parchment of one of the side drums. At Marchwiel, refreshments were kinily served out by Mr. J. W. Evans on the lawn of his house, and Archdeacon Fletcher took the opportunity of addressing the men. He told them that they would be going amongst the people of the county in quest of recruits, and he urged them to do all they could in their halts to sweep away the old idea that prevailed in Wales that the profession of arms was an ignoble one. We are opposed, he said, by a most unscrupulous enemy of tremen- dous power, and the help of every man in the country is essential to our success. Lunch was served at the Wynnstay Hotel, Ruabon, where three recruits were obtained. They fell in and marched away with the detach- ment to Cefn. The other officers in the company are Second-Lieutenant Shaw, Q M.S. Pays, Q.M. Rose, C.Q.M.S. J. R. Edwards, C.-Sergt -Major Lewis, and C.-Sergt.-Major Stowe. In the ranks many noticed Private Bert Goode, the well- known Wrexham football player. On Tuesday the party marched via Acrefair to Trevor, where one section branched off and went through Garth and the other through Vroncys- yllte, both parties returning to Trevor for lunch. Here they were addressed by Mr. E. Lloyd Edwards and County Councillor Trevor Lloyd Jones. The march was then resumed. ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME AT LLANGOLLEN I The detachment arrived at Llangollen shortly before six o'clock and, marching over the bridge to the open space in front of the Town Hall, were there halted. In accordance with arrange- ments members of the Llangollen Council assembled to accord a hearty welcome to the party that was accompanied by several recruits who had been enlisted on the march. The whole of the members of the Council appeared to be present, in addition to Alderman W. G. Dodd, C.C., Mr. E. R. Parry, C.C. and Mr. Trevor Lloyd Jones, C.C., the gathering of the general public being very numerous.—Mr. J. O. Davies, as Chairman of the Urban Council, said it gave him great pleasure, both in his personal and in his official capacity, to accord a hearty welcome to the representatives 61 the Fourth Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers on their visit to Llangollen. Those who could look back to the days of the old Volunteer movement must remember how closely Llangollen was identified with the spirit that resulted in the formation of the Denbighshire Territorial Force. With the Fourth Battalion Llangollen was especially identified. Llangollen men had served in the ranks of the Fourth as officers and had done splendid service at the front. For the losses they had sustained they felt the deepest sympathy and he was sure that, at Llangollen, there would be a ready response to the appeal for men to fill up the gaps which war's wastage had made in the ranks of the Battalion and that the result of their visit to the locality would be to greatly strengthen the Battalion that, they had been in- formed, urgently required strengthening. (Ap- plause). Again he repeated: "Welcome to Llangollen."—Major A. E. Johnson in acknow- ledging, on behalf of the officers and men the welcome extended to them, said that day the Fourth Battalion had once more gone into the trenches in France; and, he reminded them, they were now barely four hundred strong. They had lost heavily and especially amongst their officers and in this connection he reminded them of the very gallant action of Lieut. Richards, one of their own townsmen, who was wounded. He left the trenches, under heavy fire, to try and save a sergeant who was wounded and, wounded him-, self, lay under fire for four hours. (Cheers.) This was a record of which his fellow-townsmen might well be proud. The Fourth Battalion had done well; this they all admitted, but they must go forward, for there was yet much to do, and to go forward they must have men. The time for talking had gone, the time for action had arrived; and he was quite certain that, after the appeal that had been made to them, the detach- ment would march out of Llangollen in the morning much stronger than they had marched in that night. (Applause).-rThe company then marched to the Council Schools where arrange- ments had been made for them to be billeted, subsequently proceeding to the Pavilion where tea was served. I, RECRUITING MEETING. I A Ifrge and thoroaghlyrepreseatative gather. ing assembled in Victoria-square, shortly after 8 30, and was presided over by Mr. J. H. Daviea, most of the members of the Urban Council. being present, together with a considerable sprinkling of men in khaki, including local men on leave. In opening the proceedings Mr. Da vies said the main purpose of the route march was to obtain recruits for the 4th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, that had suffered severe losses in France, and that required to be brought up to full strength by a considerable influx of recruits who, he hoped, would come forward in consider- able numbers in response to the appeal that was made to them. The Battalion had been at the front since November 5th and,, by its heroism in many battles had earned the highest compliments from Field Marshall Sir John French and praise frnui Lord Kitchener, thus covering itself and the eourity with glory. To-day' the Battalion in France was scarcely 400 strong and were looking for long promised reinforcements. It was "up to" the manhood of Denbighshire to see that they did not look in vain. (Applause). Mr. S. Thompson (prospective Unionist Can- didate for Merionethshire) said that it was not a time to speak but a .time to work and he would only say a few words in order to make a direct appeal to those who were of military age, and particularly to the unmarried ones, to try and persuade them not to delay. He remembered speaking at a recruiting meeting in the Town Hall, at Llangollen, soon after the outbreak of hostilities and he then expressed the opinion that he thought that the war might possibly last for two years. He had not changed his mind on that point; although he prayed God he might be wrong. Their troops in France, bravely as they had fought and gallantly as they had sacrificed for the sake of the great cause, are to-day further back than they were in October last. This was a very serious fact to remember. They were more than six hundred miles from Berlin and the enemy was in possession of Belgium, Northern France and large parts of Russian Poland and Galicia. Let them remember that fighting was proceeding in almost the whole of the eastern and western theatres of war on the territory of the allies. Again, they must bear in mind that they were fighting an enemy that had set up the most cruel pagan god that had ever been set up in the world's history—the god of blood and iron. Germany had prepared deliberately for waro-, her dispositions had been made with the utmost care and practically every contingency had been pro. vided against and to-day Germany knew that she was fighting for her very existence and that the nations of Europe who were fighting against her were determined that the monster must be crushed for ever. They were not yet half way through the struggle and the sooner all the man- hood of the country realised the seriousness of the war the sooner it would be brought to a suc- cessful and a victorious issue. (Hear, hear.) There were rumoul s-they had been floating about for some time-that some kind of com- pulsory service will have to be adopted. He trusted this would never happen for he did not believe in compulsion. It would be a sad thing for Britain if to-day, in fighting against the tyrant of militarism, her free institutions were to break down and fail to crush the tyranny to which they were opposed. This, let them re- member, was a fight between free democracies and a power that sought to establish a military dictatorship; and he appealed to them to make every'sacrifice to demonstrate that free institu- tions are sufficient, in this struggle, to enable us to see things through. Let them remember, however, that the free institutions of the country, the democratic institutions if they would, were entirely in the keeping of the people. They were not in the power of the Government of the country. The power to-day was in the hands of the manhood of the country and they called upon the manhood of the country to do its duty. If they did not have conscription and compulsion it would be because the men of the country stood between them and compulsion; and if they did get compulsion it would be because hundreds of thousands of young men in the country who ought to have joined the colours had refrained f rom doing so. The young manhood of the country could decide whether they were to have compulsion or not; let them decide. If they decided for compulsion by refusing to join the colours the whole blame would rest on their shoulders. Let them realise that the Empire was up against the biggest struggle their country or the world had ever known, and they were fight- ing a power that would stick at nothing to gain its ends; they would not stop even at mur- dering every man, woman and child in the county of Denbighshire if, by doing so, they might gain their ends. This was the character of the fight before them. Let them come forward, with one accord-all, who were of mili- tary age-and do their share in the struggle that had been thrust upon them. (Applause.) The Rev. W. Foulkes (C.M.), who had a great reception upon coming forward toadd.res8 the meeting, said he appeared before them in a new capacity, for he had never been a recruiting officer before. Circumstances, however, some- times compelled people to assume new roles and the present serious crisis in the history of the country was such that every man must face it and every man must be prepared to do his share. The question arose: "How are we to emerge from the present tremendous conflict with success and with honour." Circumstances might arise when fighting became a necessity. They were pre- pared to fight to-day, not because they loved fighting for its own sake, but because they must fight, because they had entered upon a campaign in vindication of right and justice and fair dealing amongst the nations and they must win. (Cheers). They were fighting f* for King and Country and because they respected and held sacred treaties solemnly entered into. Germans might talk of "scraps of paper as they would and disregard them if they would but behind the due observance of what the so-called scraps of paper" implied, stood all that they as British people held dear and sacred—their plighted word. Then they were fighting for the rights of simall nationalities to exist and they were fighting for their homes and families, for their women and children, their sacred buildings, hospitals and schools and all those institutions upon which the ruthless invader had trampled in his march through Belgium. (Hear, hear). To carry for- ward this fight they must have men. They had in Lord Kitchener—(loud cheers)—the grand military organizer of the world. There was not a man on earth to-day who could have accom- plished what he had done. (Hear, hear). Let the nobility and the press say what. they liked Lord Kitchener was the man for the British people. (Cheers). They were proud of their organizers and leaders, proud of their navy and airmen, and there was no battalion at the front to-day of which they were prouder than the old Welsh Fusiliers. (Cheers). Put a Welshman in front and tell him he had got to do something and he would do it. (Hear, hear). "We don't want to fight but by jingo if we do We've got the men, we've got the ships; we've got the money to." The men, however, must come forward-we had got them and they must step out—and he held they should be able to draft another sixty men from the town of Llangollen alone. (Hear, hear). He could assure them that if he were a few years younger he would go himself; if they would have hiin he would go now—(cheers)— but they would not have him. Let the young have no doubt as to the urgency of the need for recruits, or the character of the menace to all that they heU near and dear. Let them turn their eyes to Belgium at one time one of the loveliest countries in Europe. What is it to-day ? J A wilderness. By their diabolical actions the German invaders had done this thing; and suppose they came to this country what they bad done, by diabolical means in Belgium, would be repeated with ten fold ferocity, for they knew of the terrible hatred with which they hated liq. And let the manhood of the nation make no mid- take; they will come unless we go out to meet them. We don't .want to fight, but by jingo if we do We've got the men; we've got tne ships; we've got the money too." Aye, and we bad got a just cause as well. The young men, those who are walking about doing nothing on the street many of them, should deem it a high honour to fight in such a cause. It was a high honour for any man to do his utmost for his King and Country, and he asked all who were in a positien to do so, to come forward with- out delay, so that once more peace might reign in our time in Europe, the terrible menace of militarism might be removed, and that the cause of justice might triumph. To the young men of Llangollen he said be up and doing and God defend the Right." (Cheers). Mr. E. R. Parry, C.C., said that, after listening to the "Jack Johnsons" and the big guns, be was afraid what he might have to say would sound very small to them. However, he must express the great pleasure he experienced in being there to meet a contingent of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. They were all proud of the Fourth Battalion that had covered itself with glory in the recent engagements in France; they were deeply grieved by the sorrow that had been caused in many a home where hearts had been stricken by losses sustained and by sad news from the front; but just as the Fourth Battalion had given a glorious account of itself in recent fight- ing so, he was confident, it would continue to uphold the honour and the traditions of the regi- ment in the future. They were not there, how- ever, for laudations so much as for emulations. The command was Go thou and do likewise!" and the great question was: Who is ready to step into the breach ?" They bad heard of what Llangollen men had done in the trenches for several months past; and, in the way of recruit- ing, they had done splendidly. It was possible, however, to do even better. They realised that they were fighting for their very existence as a nation; fighting for everything that the words "British" and "Britons" stand for and, as they realised this, he was confident they would come forward, in ever increasing numbers, to do their duty. The result of the conflict depended upon them; and again he urged them to delay no longer in making the choice. (Applause.) Capt. R. C. Roberts, R.W .F., who returned from France some weeks ago after doing brilliant ser- vice with the Fourth Battalion said, on behalf of the battalion, he desired to return thanks to the people of Llangollen for the hearty welcome they had extended to the detachment. One of the primary objects of the movement was to try and induce men of military age, who were hold- ing back, to join the colours. Since he had been home from the front he had done a good deal of recruiting and he did not think he could count up the number of excuses that had been ad- vanced to him from time to time for not putting on uniform. What he would advise every young man to do was to examine his conscience and see whether he could satisfy himself that, in face of the terrible danger that menaced their country, they were doing right to hold back and declin- ing to do their best" in the nation's hour of need. He would like to ask the young men who were content to remain at home whilst their fellow-townsmen were fighting and dying out in France, what right had they to expect these men at the front to fight their battles for them. Let them also ask themselves what would happen if every man was content to find an excuse and to remain at home. How long would it be before their comfort was very rudely disturbed by the arrival of the Germans. Standing there, he could picture to himself what had taken place within the walls of the old Castle he saw on the hill before him. There the men of Wales, in the past, mustered and went forth to fight and to establish the glorious traditions of their race. Let the thoughts cf what Wales had done in the past inspire them and let them avail themselves of no excuse of which they could not be proud to shirk their duty to-day. Most of the men en- rolled in the Fourth Battalion had been engaged in civilian life before the war commenced. He himself, as a solicitor, had fought many a battle and suffered many a defeat from Mr. E. Foulkes-Jones in the Police Court at Llangollen. Let them also take to heart the example of gallantry set by Lieut. R.W. Richards who, he was pleased to hear, was now recovering from the wounds he sustained in the action where the Fourth Battalion achieved great distinction; and let them think, too, of the men who had gone out and who might never come back, giving their all at the call of duty. Could they think of these things and be content to) remain at home. If only they could hear what the men in the trenches had to say of those who were content to shirk their plain duty and let others fight for them they would not hesitate long in joining the armies that were fighting the most predominant military despotism in the history of the whole world. (Cheers.) Now then, The Jhai?m a, then, young Welshmen, are there any amongst you animated by the spirit of Llewellyn and Glyndwr ? We have not done badly at Llangollen-over two hundred out of a population of 3,000 are now serving with the colours; but we require more. Mr. Allen Lett- some has consented to act as Recruiting Officer for the Fourth Battalion and names should be forwarded to him at once. Prior to the meeting dispersing it was addressed by Sergt-Major Charles Roberts, of the Canad- ian Divisional Engineers, a member of the first contingent from the Dominion to reach this country and who is now on leave at Llangollen, of which town he is a native. He reminded the meeting that Canada, Australia, India and New Zealand were sending troops to the assistance of the Empire at the present crises and there must be no holding back in Wales. Wales must play a foremost part in the great war; and, as an old instructor, he depicted to them the advantages and the privileges which followed upon enlistment apart from the knowledge that they were doing the right thing by placing themselves unreserved- ly at the disposal of King and Country. ENTERTAINMENT FOR THE VISITORS. I The local committee had decided to provide a" smoker," With light refreshments, for the entertainment of the visitors in the evening at the Town Hall; the ladies of the League of Honour superintending the arrangements and catering. The following artistes contributed to the programme which was excellently arranged and greatly appreciated: Mr. Walter Lettsome, Mr. Percy Clarke, Mr. R. P. Owen (Montgom- eryshire Yeomanry), Mr. T. Coward and Mr. Evan Roberts. Cigarettes were freely distribut- ed to the visitorlil who enjoyed an exceptionally good, time.—Other forms of amusement provided were the entertainment at Mr. T. M. Etowlanda's Pic 11 re Palace, tfhich he had generously in- vited the visitors to attend and a circus on the Recreation Ground. The company was billeted in the Couocil Schools for the night and, at ten o'clock on Wednesday morning, the march was resumed via the Grwernant to Pontfadog and Glynceiriog, there being large crowds in the streets to witness their departure.

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