Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

5 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



  THE RETURN OF T• HE A TT A'LION COLOURS. & s j) L iij? u JL\jtL< < J)L ?J i\i? 'LFjr & iiJL< iL?jnL i & JAr?i! Li1?1 i? a ?Jv))J! Ltt ?H ?) iK\t?J. SWANSEA'S RECEPTION. Town's Great Welcome. t r t.. ALL SWANSEA TURNS OUT. The presentation of the Colours of the Swansea Battalion to the Mayor of Swan- sea (Councillor W. H. Miles), on Mon- uay, was marked by scenes of great en- thusiasm, the colour party and the at- tending detachments of the Battalion be- ing accorded a right royal reception. The actual colour party arriving con- sisted of one officer and three men, the re- mainder—20 men—forming an armed es- j cort. The detachment, which had ar-J rived in England from France last week, I" consisted of Lieut.-col. Dyson Brock Wil- liams. D.S.O. (in command), Capt. D. M. Kankin (adjutant), Lieut, and Quarter- master E. S. Hobbs. Sec.-lieut. F. Russon lin charge of colour party), C.S.M. Turner, Sergts. Common, Irving, Morris, Roberts and Sayers; Corporals Ace, Arm- strong, A. Davies, B. Davies, Evans, Hen- son. Jones, Manship and Proctor. The party was teceived at the station by Colonel Benson. its first commanding ofifcer, and, headed by the band of the National Federation of Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers, marched via the principal streets to the Guildhall. where the Colours were formally handed over to the chief citizen of the town (Councillor W. H. Miles). We give be- low a special report of the scenes. ARRIVAL SCENES. I At four o'clock dense crowds thronged all the thoroughfares of the town. Al- ready the approaches to High-street sta- tion were packed with people, but still they came '-l scores, in hundreds, from all parts of the town. At 4.5, a Morriston tram car driver, after a vain attempt to force a passage through near Alexandra- road, decided to lose a quarter," and perching himself upon his oar, settled down to await the arrival of the Colours. At 4.20 all the, old members of the Bat- talion. headed by a platoon of N.C.O.s with fixed bayonets, came along from the direction of the Library at a swinging pace. At their head was the grand old veteran, Col. Benson, scion of a line of very gallant gentlemen. It was he who had the honour of commanding the Bat- talion in its days of infancy, and it was befitting to the occasion; that, now in its last hours he should again lead 'the men. And well did he lead them. .s they swung round into, the station yard one long roar ofjfreeting came from the huge crowd. Quickly they formed up in company formation to await the ar- rival of the train. HISTORIC VICTORIES RECALLED. I According to plan," 7/ero was at 4.3.5, but in this case plans were subservient to, the, vicissitudes of railway companies. Down High-street to the junction at Castle-street, along College-Street and thence through to Wind-strcttf via Ox- ford-street the crowd, increasing every minute, waited patiently. Wives, sisters. brothers thf bairns, all were these—and the widows too. And the latter wi'ih their little ones were many, for the Swansea Battalion has won undying glory the sacrifice of its deaa heroes. Mairietz! Pilkem! Aveluy! Morval! 'L'bose ii,re the unforgotf en victories. The ifaps in the ranks of'the men marching bfMnd Col. Benson told the story of the pf-'ce. %4o! Someone in the crowd suddenly di^ftvered the train was late. 4.50! It 'rÄs unanimously agreed that the train was late! On the platform orf the station a little1 group walked to and fro I glancing occasionally at the signals. Swamsea's oldest veteran, Col.-Sergt. Turtle, was among the group proudly wearing his medals. An occasion of this kind would hardly be complete without the presence of this old soldier in his red volunteer uniform. ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME! I Major 3filbourne Williams, who had | charge of the arrangements, was of course there, with Major and Mrs, Bertie Perkins and Major Clarke, whilst Col. Sinclair and Couno'liars David Griffiths, T. W. Ho walls, Aldoriiian Bassett, and the Ghiefr Constable whiled away the time chatting to the new Vicar of Swansea, Rev. S. Phillips (ex-chaplain), and the llev. J. H. Watkin Jones. Outside tho Naval Brigade, under Lieut. John Hodgens, O.B.E., had formed up to do honour to the warriors. Just before fire o'clock the trarn etettmed into the station. Col. Brock Williams, his face wreathed with smiles, twoeived a arm welcome from the little group. There WalS no loss of time. In a few moments the Colours were unfurled, the Colour- party and escort formed up und marched down towards the exist. As Col. Williams came into sight at the platform door the Battalion, as one man, oame smartly to attention. Than came the order. Present Arms," and as the riflos cainc- down to the Present," the buglers gave the Royal salute. Then they marched off. And with the first "beat of the drum a mighty roar went up and was Mimed down along High-street. There was an absence of flag-waving; ae the procession winded i(ts. way through the route the ah-eering died down, and the crowd ga^ed silently at this fine body of men that had helped to save Britain. There were some who regretted thia absence of din and clamour, others who felt that perhaps after all the silence I was the more eloquent jevidence of the dpth of our gratitude. ALL SWANSEA OUT. I -It was difficult TO cheer; the memory of those who would never come back was too near, too dear. Perchance too, in the echoes of the tramping of the men could too heard the* traifip of that great army of the dead. There were tears here and there. There was a profound reason for the silence of the crowd. But what a crowd it was. All Swansea turned out. "Dear old Aber- tawe," said one of the men, showed that she had not forgotten." Abertawe never will! GUILDHALL CEREMONY I le.front of the beflagged Guildhall was a platform in the, decorated sides of which the- Welsh flag figured strongly. From all- windows overlooking the yard and from round its rails spectators awaited the,- arrival of the colours. Excellent police arrangements had kept the ap- oroaches well clear, and in the yard itself only those present in a representative capacity were allowed. Among these were noticed, in addition to those who had the welcome at the station: The MayoTess, Miss Bens?n. Mrs, Morgan B Williams, Colonel T, W. Jones, Colonel W.- D. Trick, Captain Aubrey Wiiha?s, Captain Richard Jones, Lieutenant E. Morgan, Major Geo. Harries, M.B.E., Aldermen W. Owen, Ivor, G wynne, Cery, James and Qeorge Hemmings, Councillors E. G. Protheros, H. Maodonnell, W. Harding, A. Loveli, W. Bowen, F. J. Parker, W. J. Davies, R. Matthews, J. J. Jones, J. MiUer, H. Thomas, G. Hill, M. E. Rees, W. Lloyd, R. Henry, Mr. Lang Coath (Town Clerk), Messrs.* Roger Beck, Arthur Andrews (president of the Chamber of Commerce) A. W. E. Wynne, W. Turpin, W. T. Farr, S. L. Gregor, H. Thomas, J. P. Rowlands, W. H .Ashmole, F. Tunbridge, T. J. Rees, S. Thompson, J. H. Lee, W. T. Farr, jun., Lt. Mill, R.N.V.R. I THE ARRIVAL I As the band dr6w near, the main gates were flung wide open and, while it con- tinued playing in Somerset-plaoe, the escort swung through. There was some enthusiasm, but it seemed that other feel; ings prevented any united, solid outburst of cheering as the escort, first forming two-deep and then passing a file on each side of the monument, made way for the Colour party to ta-ke its place in front of the platform, on which the Mayor and Mayoress and a large number of public men and their wives now fctood waiting. Men of the battalion having taken places behind the escort, Lieut.-Col. Dyson Williams ordered the ptesent" from Colour party, escort, and .Guard of Honour, the Colours were dipped, and civilians lifted their hats. This over, the armed men came to the "slope. the order," and the at ease," and the gathering waited for the speeches. > THE COLOURS' SIGNIFICANCE. I Lieut.-Col. Dyson Brock Williams, D.S.O., steppM to the front of the pl-at- form, and, cheered, said: Mr. Mayor,— It is my duty here to-day to hand over these Colours that have been presented to us by his Majesty the King. They stand to us as an emblem of the grt\at deeds of the living and the brave deeds of the dead that have been performed in the momentous war we have just brought to a successful conclusion against the King's enemies. "I hope" you will treasure them as a reminder to the citizens of this grc,&t borough of the noble sacrifices that have been made by the Swan-sea Town Bat- talion. I hope they will be a reminder to us, and to all those who come after us, to remain faithful to those great-principles of right and justice for which our com- rades in France hav^ fought and for which they have died." (Cheers.) THE TOWN'S ACCEPTANCE. I The' Mayor, accepting the colours for safe keeping, with, very great pleasure, i;ai(I lie-was privileged as deputy-Mayor some four years ago to say "Good-bye" to the Battalion at Winchester. The good-bye tin which he joined was some slight town-recognition of services they would rondor. In the years that had since passed the town bad followed with very great interest the records of the Battalion, and especially their splendid part in the achievements in connection with Mametz Wood, an' engagement which thrilled the town.. To those whom they would never wel- come back they paid the res poet due to men who had made the supreme sacrifice, nor only for the town hut for the Empire and for the cause of liberty. To those whom they were able to welcome back he could say the feeling of all citizens was one of deep gratitude for the heroic and gallant deeds of the Battalion—work for the cause of liberty which the town would ever remember. (Applause.) THE BATTALION COMMITTEE. I Mr. S. L. Gregor, as, a member of the committee responsible for raising the Battalion, said they greeted the returned ones, with heartfelt. thankfulness for the magnificent-part they had played, with those who would not come 1)ack, in up- holding nie honour and integrity "of' the Umpire.' (Applause:) SWANSEA'S NEW HISTORY. I Mr. David Davies, one of. the war- period Mayors, well received, said he was the proposer of the resolution- in favour of raising the battalion, and in his view that was one of the best things the town had ever done. Afterwards the great deal he saw of them in Swan- osa, Rhyl, Winchester, and under fire in France made him all the prouder of being a Welshman and of being asso- ciated with Swansea. This was the last, most glorious chap- ter-of a new. history the commenced in Hwansea 4i years ago. Those who were dead in France had left an imperishable glory as a heritage for Swansea and a source of inspiration to the coming generations. The battalion represented the cream of Swansea-'s manhood, the men who came willingly, not compelled, and he did not want to forget the men who fought for EngDand and human liberty (Applause.) I He had been appealing to the Mayor to establish a permanent committee in Swansea to look after the interests, not only of the widows and orphans, but of the men who had come back—not a bureaucratic committee but a human one. Let not that beautiful pageantry, that glorious day and- chapter in Swan- sea's history be marred or dimned by anything like Swansea Battalion men being in the Workhouse or crawling about the roads. He wanted them as long as they lived to be. proud of their association with the battalion, and to be conscious that Swansea remained grateful to them to the end of time for exalting it-s name and fighting for human liberty against the latest form of tyranny. (Applause.) Air. Arthur Andrews extended the warm- est of welcomes on behalf, of the Chamber of Commerce, and assured the home- ooui.frs that the Colours would always be cherished as a real memento of their splendid work. Aid. A Sinclair, much móv, also spoke. He knew, lie 'said, when they left that they would be true soldiers* and in this town-welcome they asintred them they wrtuld not forget their sacrifices and those of the dead. FIRST C.O.'» RECEPTION. I There were loud calls for Col. H. W. Benaori, and eventually he stepped for- ward, smiling, to be given the warmest reception extended te any speaker. (The Ma-yor explained that the C olonel would not accept his own invitation to speak.) From the very beginning the battalion («aid its 'first C.O.) was as nice a lot of men to deal with as there fould possibly be. The last .time he saw them on parade be had the honour of leading the battalion past her Majesty the Queen at Winches- i ter,_ and he thought it was the proudest .moment of his life whfen he saw what a :8o"rí.' [Photo by Chapman. ] The First Officers of the Swansea Battalion. [PW>t by Óhapman,j _) t-fJ ? .——— fine battalion was the one in the raising- of which he had a share. It was a. very bitter disappointment to him that the doctors would not allow him to accompany them to France. GENERAL MARDEN'S TRIBUTE. He followed their career as well as he could, and their Brigadier, General Mar- den wrote him that he was very pleased with them, adding that they had the right fighting spirit. Throughout they proved this, and that they had much of it. It was a great privilege to see so many old faces again, looking so well. The great majority of men with him at the beginning, alas, were not present that day, &ome dead, pome away. "THOSE WHO HAVE NOT COME I BACK." Lieut.-Col. Dyson Williams returned I I [I'liolto I)v C-liapniah'.] > The Officers of the 14th, Welsh" (Swansea Battalion) taken the day before Mametz Wood. I I thanks for a wonderful reception. None <> them would have dared march through Swansea's streets that day had they thought it was only a welcome to them. But they knew the ceremony was more than anything else a tribute to those com- rades, of jtheirs who had not, come back. Thoughts and memories crowding on the hraift madfl speaking quite. impossible, but he would like (on behalf of Colonel Hayes and himself) to thank the officers and men for the wonderful" things they did in France. Often they were tokjto do what seemed to the command impossible, and often they did what seemed more than impossible. THE NEW COMRADESHIP. I Fighting in France one made greater friendships in a fortnight than in a lifetime in England, and he would gladly give again the five years for the sake of those splendid friend- whips. lie knew they had brought back the true spirit of comradeship, which was that every man gave to his neighbour to- day regardless of what be would have to- ■ r morrow. He hoped as our. wonderful Army was demobilised that spirit would permeate the whole nation, and give us an Empire worthy the sacrifices made for it. (Applause). HANDED OVER. I Then followed an impressive Royal Salute, the band playing the National Anthem, Ser.-lieut. Russon handed over the treasured Colours to the Mayor, and the ceremony was over. The troops marched off to the Drill Hall for refreshments provided by the Mayor. COL. HAY E S' T H AN K S.1 The following telegram was received on Monday by Lieut.-Col. Dyson Brock Williams, D.S.O., Swansea Battalion. from Lieut.-Col. J. H. Hayes, D.S.O.: Very sorry impossible to get down to see you and your men coming home I 1¡p-day. I-lease accept best wishes and thanks for all you did for me during my very happy and proud stay with you in rance. i "You all deserve the best of luck, and I hope you will have it." INCIDENTS IN THE 1 STREETS. Every important event in the history of the Swansea Battalion has occurred on a Monday. It is imputed that 243 Swansea office boys disappeared suddenly shortly after four o'clock on Monday. What struck many people in the recep- tion accorded to the Battalion was the absence of much cheering. i The joy: of the occasion was too-deep for conven- tional expression. But now-and then clapping of hands was heard in clubs and business houses. f. 1 Newcomers who found the space near Iligli-street Station wedged with people, and no chance of getting near the pro- cession, hurriedly drifted away down Orchard-street, with intent to find a better coign of vantage lower down. The fact that the business of the Swan- sea Rural District Council was so well done spelt a rare devotion to duty. All through the afternoon the-minds of mem- bers were on the Colours. Yet business had to be done. So, with an official on the look-out, ready to warn them of the procession's approach, the members carried on." When the Swansea Rural District Council heard the cornets blow most of the member* rose. and there was a hurried proposal to adjourn for ten minutes, which would have been adopted nem con., only at that moment it became known that the music was on the way to the station, and that the march of the Battalion was not yet. Someone said that business could be finished in ten minutes, and the dutiful councillors bent their energies once more to their task. The most noticeable thing about the tremendous crowds which filled all High- street and Castle-street, stopping the trams and all other traffic, patiently anticipating the arrival of the Swansoo. Colours, was its great silence.- The people just assembled and waited.


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