County Herald Friday – August 7th 1914 – (The reason I add this for Connah’s Quay & Shotton is that it positively proves that the men from Deeside, including Hawarden & district (Approx. 32 men and boys) who were in the 5th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Territorials), were in Aberwrystwyth on that fateful Bank Holiday Weekend in their Annual Camp when War was declared, and they were among the men who were on these trains, the article also gives an insight into the atmosphere among the general public on that week-end.)
THE MILITARISM PHASE IN FLINT – Not since the South African Campaign a few years ago has there been witnessed in the Borough of Flint such a spirit of militarism and patriotism as been evidenced in the course of the present week. The serious trend which events assumed intentionally neccitated an alteration at the encampment of the 5th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Territorials) near Aberystwyth. The Flint Company left the borough last Sunday week for the camp and were under the command of Major E.J.H. WILLIAMS, with other officers. On Sunday last communications were flashed about the country, and the result was that early on Monday throughout Great Britain all the Territorial Camps were “struck” by special Government Orders. This dismantling occupied some few hours, together with the preparation for returning home; and late in the day the Flintshire Companies left Aberystwyth, and travelling through night reached Flint, and their other destinations on the coast soon after six o’clock. At Flint station the “home” men were lined up on the platform, and Major WILLIAMS, presuming that each man knew the Order for Mobilisation of the Regular and Territorial Forces was issued, briefly addressed them, informing them that they could return to their respective homes there to be in readiness to await further Orders which might be received. Not withstanding the long railway journey and the great tension experienced by the rumours of war intelligence the men appeared cheerful under all the conditions. It was reported they would be leaving towards the end of the week to take up a position at the headquarters at Preston.
SCENES AT THE RAILWAY STATION – In the course of Monday, in consequence of information having been circulated in the town, a considerable number of women and children proceeded to the Railway Station, where they occupied one of the chief waiting rooms, in the hope they would be present to accord a greeting to their Territorial friends. Hours were devoted to weary watching for the train, but all in vain. The people were causing some inconvenience to the travelling public as well as holiday passengers, and it was, therefore, found necessary to order them peremptorily to leave the station premises. Therefore, as night wore on, extra railway officials were placed on duty, and the station premises were permitted only to be entered by the passengers, and others who had some important business transactions. The holiday passengers had the unique experience, and one which endured with much forebearance, of having to wait longer than three hours for a “local” train from Rhyl to Chester. After the arrival about 7 o’clock of the train which was due soon after three o’clock in the afternoon, another batch of passengers numbering over one hundred arrived from the Flint districts to proceed to Chester, etc., and they also had the “distinguished” inconvenience of waiting until nearly ten o’clock for the next “local.”
It transpired upon enquiries that the prolonged delays and dislocation of the “up service” was caused by the Orders received at the Military Camps along the North Wales Coast for the troops to leave immediately for their home destinations. The “troop trains” were numerous, and the it was not until late in the evening that this extra pressure, upon the “top” of the Bank Holiday traffic was relieved. However, at the Flints Railway Station, Mr. J.C. SHONE, officiating as the Stationmaster, was continuously on duty for several hours, and every possible assistance was rendered the travelling public to depart by the first available trains. A number of youthful exuberant, and others who were satiated with the “war fever” continued their weary vigil for the homecoming of the Territorials until nearly five o’clock in the morning, when they retired, but a number who remained cheered the men as the train steamed into the station.
THE RESERVISTS RESPONDING TO THE CALL. – The Naval Reservists of the immediate districts and Military Reservists, on learning of the Mobilisation Orders, were early astir, and proceeded to report themselves at the Military Quarters in other towns. Several extra Fleet men were visitors to the officials.
CONNAH’S QUAY AND THE RESERVISTS. – Connah’s Quay being the River Dee Port, Lieutenant MARRIOTT, of the Customs, and who is R.N.R., was busily employed on Monday and Tuesday in dealing with the members of the Royal Naval Reservists who reported themselves from the vessels within the jurisdiction of the Port. The men were “paid off” at Mostyn, and then directed to the Connah’s Quay Board of Trade Customs Office. There they were received by Lieut. MARRIOTT, who, after examining their Naval Reserve certificates as the Registrar, completed the customary formalities, handed the men their “retaining fees,” and witnessed them afterwards depart by the earliest available trains for their destinations, prior to their leaving to take up their duties with the Naval Reserve. Some of the Reservists were hailing from such distant places as Glasgow, and Kinsale, in the south of Ireland.
THE 5th BATT. WELSH FUSILIERS TERRITORIALS TO ASSEMBLE AT FLINT.
SCHOOLS, POLITICAL CLUBS, AND OTHER BUILDINGS “COMMANDEERED” FOR BILLETS.
The war-cloud fell like a dread pall upon the community of Flint yesterday (Wednesday) morning, and everyone who had associations with the military operations of mobilisation were early astir, and especially when it became known that all the Reservists in the Borough, as well as the members of the Imperial (Denbighshire, etc.) Yeomanry had already received notice to report themselves at the Wrexham Headquarters early in the evening. The Naval Reservists were all away on the previous day; and yesterday (Wednesday) movements were confines to the various sections of the military. Never within modern history has there been such a comprehensive call to arms in the Borough, and the men and the general public were tediously on the qui vive waiting for the latest news and developments. On the previous night, in compliance with instructions, steps were hurriedly taken to “commandeer” the shelter advantages of a number of the buildings for the purpose of accommodating the men of the 5th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Territorials), who are under the Mobilisation Orders to assemble to-day (Thursday) at the Headquarters of the Battalion at the Castle, prior to their proceeding to Preston. Colonel Basil PHILLIPS is in command of the Battalion: Captain WOODS, the Adjutant; the Major E.J.H. WILLIAMS, with the members of the Staff, including Lieut. CLARIDGE, were on duty at the Headquarters Offices, completing the arrangements for the men; and stipulated accommodation is being provided at the Council and Church of England Schools, the Liberal and Conservative Clubs, Oddfellows’ Hall, Hotels, and other places, for the officers and men; and horses are being stabled in the Hotel yards. The Companies from Caergwle, Mold and Holywell, etc., including Connah’s Quay, were hourly expected on the march to Flint, where it was believed they would remain until Sunday. The members of the Flint Company paraded at the Drill Hall at noon yesterday to await further Orders, and where several of them were medically examined by Dr. TWEMLOW, for the Transport Department. Colonel PHILLIPS informed our Representative that he expects to depart from Flint fully one thousand strong. All the buildings which had been commandeered temporarily for the men were in readiness for their reception yesterday afternoon, and preparations were then being initiated for the victualling the men, probably in the Castle grounds. There was much subdued excitement prevalent in the town, where some of the works experienced a depletion in the number of employees owing to the mobilisation.
Throughout the morning the services of a magistrate were requisitioned for “swearing in” and declaration purposes at the Castle; and the resources of the Post Office were taxed through the Reservists, etc., arriving with their papers. Two Reservists in the employ of the Post Office, and others, left per the morning trains to join their regiments at Headquarters, and there were some sorrowful scenes when husbands departed from their wives and children. The local Reservists are so well-known that it is unnecessary to mention their names.
The accommodation for the Territorials in the town is for 760 men, but this number will be increased. All the agencies, directly or indirectly, concerned with the military duties are in evidence, and it is understood that the members of the Flintshire Aid Detachment, which is in purpose practically a Home Nursing contingent, are also receiving instructions should their services be required at any of the military centres, hospitals.
Patriotic fervour was increasing in this Territorials’ Headquarters for the 5th Battalions R.W.F. yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon; but at the same time is was recognised that the trading in the town was becoming affected.
Telephoning at 10′oclock this (Thursday) morning, our Flint representative states that the outlying Companies of the 5th Batt. R.W.F. are expected to be on the march early in the afternoon, and the first detachment is likely to arrive in Flint about 4 0′clock. It is intimated that over 800 and 70 horses will be accommodated in the Borough. – It is rumoured in the town that the majority of the local works will close down shortly. In the Borough and the adjoining districts this morning there was much calmer feeling respecting the obtaining of foodstuffs, and it is understood that the enhanced prices will be deflated in the course of a few days. – It is also reported with some reliability that there are certain instances in which men who have in the past been engaged in military service have been summoned up, though they regarded themselves as having concluded their connection with the Authorities some years ago.
County Herald Friday – August 14th 1914 (Page 7, Col 5)
SHOTTON – A GERMAN “PRISON.”
The disused engineering works of Messrs. Williams & Robinson have been taken by the military authorities as a place of detention for German prisoners of war. Already about 300 are detained there, and they are quarded by the Cheshire Company of the 5th Battalion Cheshire Regiment (Territorials). The prisoners comprise those formally taken into custody as prisoners of war and others who have been resident in the large towns of Cheshire and Lancashire, and who failing to find anyone to vouch for them under the new “Aliens” Act, are being taken care of.
This story below relates to Flint and Bagillt, but I thought it reflected the mood of the country at this time, so I am adding it to the pages.- Mavis Williams
County Herald 14th August 1914 (Page 6, Col. 4)
FLINT – A Street Scene: – The “Spy” Story.
On Monday afternoon, early, an unusual scene took place in the town, and one which for a short time created a little excitement.
It appears that an elderly well-dressed gentleman, who was carrying an umbrella and an overcoat, arrived during the morning, and visited some of the establishments, where he made singular enquiries, and subsequently he walked in the direction of the H.Q. of the Battalion. He had been previously in conversation with the police, but later there was a “hue and cry” that a German spy was in the town.
Several excitable females became aware of the gentleman’s presence and he was mobbed. The police came to the rescue, and the gentleman, who was apparently much scared, was hurriedly removed to the Police Buildings, where he was subjected to some searching enquiries. The “news” spread quickly to the effect that a German Spy had been captured, and to give colour to the event it was stated “incriminating documents,” etc., had been discovered in his possession, and also he had been enquiring where the waterworks’ reservoirs were situated. Quite a large crowd congregated outside the Police Office. A motor car was brought to the place, and in the course of time the “Spy” was conveyed to it and removed by the officials along the Chester-road. The assistance of a number of the Territorials was requisitioned near the office in order to prevent the overbearing intrusions of the excited crowd, and as the car was driven off there were loud yells.
Sometime afterwards our Representative was informed that the “German Spy” story was an absolute myth; that the gentleman was suffering from some strange hallucinations; and that his condition was one for pity. He was minus money, but had a scrap of paper on which was written an address in Queensferry-road, Chester, together with the address of a shopkeeper in Leadworks Lane, Chester. It was said that he had been enquiring for the Town Clerk, and that he desired some information as how he could proceed to America
County Herald 21st August 1914 (Col. 5)
FLINT – The “Spy” Scare: Scenes of Excitement
Telephoning this (Wednesday) morning, our Flint representative states: – Scenes of excitement were witnessed at Bagillt and Flint last night, when the German “spy” question was again in evidence. Early in the evening an apparently well-educated man, wearing a wideawake soft felt hat, and who was believed to be “on the road,” received the advice that he should proceed to the Holywell poor law institution. While the man was in Bagillt the rumour was circulated that he was a”spy,” whereupon the people were instantly “up in arms.”
The excitement was great, and with difficulty the man was taken away by P.C. JONES. Some time afterwards information of the “capture” was received at Headquarters in Flint Castle, and two “riders” were sent in hot pursuit; but in the meantime P.C.JONES had utilised an ice-cream cart, in which he took the man to Flint Castle. There he was questioned, and was afterwards removed with a fixed-bayonet escort to the Police Station. Hundreds of excited people rushed to the Town Hall, where the man was being escorted, and the “spy” was buffeted. It was stated the man had in his possession some papers containing a map of some road route. It is understood he will be brought before the Military Authorities to-day. It is believed the Police attach no importance to the arrest.
County Herald 28th August 1914 (Page 3, Col. 5)
The “Spy” Scare: Release of a Captive.
In our last issue particulars were inserted of an exciting scene when a “suspected spy” was conveyed from Bagillt to Flint Castle. As was stated, the man was brought from Flint Police Station on Wednesday morning and escorted to the Castle again, where he appeared before the Military Authorities. He was interrogated, and subsequently it was decided he should be released. The Police, however, did not attach any importance to the scare. Police Inspector Williams was communicated with by the Military Authorities, and the man was “seen out of the Town,” and en route for Conway whither he was tramping the previous day before he was “captured.” Enquiries were elicited that the man was an unemployed cinematographer operator or actor, and that he was wishrator(sic) joining friends at Conway.
Flintshire Observer & News
A BLOW TO SHOTTON – Flintshire Observer 6th August 1914
Messrs. Summers’ Ironworks Closed Owing to the War.
5,000 MEN IDLE
The following notice has been posted at the Hawarden Bridge Ironworks:-“Owing to the war having broken out on the Continent we are unable to ship any goods, and all orders have either been cancelled or suspended. We are therefore compelled to close down the works until it becomes possible for us to resume business”.
For John Summers & Sons Lts., C.B. Gardiner , Director.
The closing of these works is a blow to Shotton and district, and will also affect other parts of the county, including Flint.
The same edition:-
TERRITORIAL CAMP BROKEN UP – excerpt from the article, (Page 8 Col 4).
4th and 5th Battalions R.W.F. Return from Aberystwyth.
Enthusiasm of Officers and Men.
The North Wales Infantry Brigade camp at Aberystwyth was broken up on Monday.
At 6.15 in the morning the troops received orders to break up their camp, return all stores and ordnance, and proceed to their peace headquarters forthwith.
Under ordinary circumstances the camp would not have concluded until Saturday next. However, in the view of the gravity of affairs and the rate at which events were moving, the military authorities decided to break up all Territorial Camps.
The news travelled round the camp at once, and aroused intense interest, the uppermost feeling in the minds of all – officers and men alike – being one of enthusiasm at the prospect of being called up for service.
(The rest of the article was about striking tents and returning equipment and the strengths of the 4th and 5th Battalions of the R.W.F.)
Same edition:- Page 5 Col. 5 (transcribed from newspaper, no cutting)
A Hearty Send-off – The platform and approaches to the Railway Station were thronged on Wednesday morning by people bidding farewell to P.C. BOWKER – a popular officer – who had been called to the front. The Connah’s Quay Band was in attendance, and as the train moved out played “Auld Lang Syne” and “God Save the King.”
FLINTSHIRE OBSERVER – 13th August 1914
SOLDIERS AND THE INSURANCE ACT.
The calling up of insured persons who are in the Army Reserves and Territorials will materially affect their position as regards insurance from the moment they are so called up. We are asked by the Welsh Insurance Commissioners to state that in all four countries health insurance contributions of Army Reserves and Territorial during embodied service will be at the reduced army rate of 3d a week, 1 and 1/2d. of which will be deducted from pay. They will be paid on special army B cards supplies by Military Authorities. As regards ordinary cards for current half-year reservists should fill in the name of the society and branch, if any, and deposit cards at Military Depot in the box provided for the purpose. Territorials should send their cards to their societies writing across them the word “Territorial.” Cards left in custody of employers should be kept until further notice unless claimed by the man. During embodied service any claim to maternity benefit should be made by the wife to the approved society or in the case of deposit contributors to the Insurance Committee in the ordinary way.
The War Office had issued a notification with regard to new enlistments in the regular Army that – “If the war lasts for less than three years men so enlisting will be discharged with all convenient speed.”
Two thousand people gathered outside a provision dealer’s shop at Dudley Port, Staffordshire, and their attitude became so menacing that the premises were closed. The crowd then removed the roof of the bakehouse at the rear, and carried off £150 worth of provisions.
Same edition:- Page 5 Col.5 (transcribed from newspaper, no cutting)
TERRITORIALS DEPARTURE – Amid great enthusiasm the members of H.Q Royal Welsh Fusiliers left Connah’s Quay on Thursday afternoon for Flint. They marched from the Drill Hall to the station, accompanied by the Quay Prize Band, and some thousands of persons, who cheered them Heartily. As the train steamed into the station, the band struck up the National Anthem, which was joined in by the vast assembly.
CONGRATULATIONS – Lieut. E. Ll. MARRIOTT, R.N.R. Registrar of shipping at Connah’s Quay, has received the following:- “With reference to the mobilisation of the Royal Naval Reserve now in progress the Admiral Commanding has requested me to convey to you his warm appreciation of the results so far obtained. To have dispatched to the depots such a large number of men in such a short space of time (fifty per cent of the strength within 48 hours of the order to mobilise) in the circumstances obtaining at the moments points (he says) to an efficient organisation and a zealous and intelligent co-operation, reflecting the greatest credit on all concerned.” – C.P. JONES, Registrar General.
AN HISTORIC EVENT – Mounting the Guard at Flint Castle – Not for hundreds of years had the ceremony of mounting the guard been performed at Flint Castle till Wednesday evening week, when the Mayor of Flint (Major C. E. DYSON, V.D.) formally handed over the Castle to the Commanding Officer of the 5th Batt. R.W. Fusiliers (Col. B.E. PHILIPS).
The guard was formed by Sergt. Major F. BAKER, and Sergt. HAYES, E.(Flint) Coy., was placed in command of the guard, which was furnished by R. Coy., and was inspected by Major E.J.H. WILLIAMS before marching to the various posts.
Col.B.E.PHILIPS, some time ago, made an appeal that the 5th Battalion R.W.F. should be brought up to full strength. The response was gratifying and showed the excellent spirit pervading the men of Flintshire. When the Battalions assembled on mobilisation the strength was 1007, excluding the staff. A Company (Mold), 122; B (Hawarden), 107; C (Rhyl), 118; D (Holywell), 172; E (Flint), 186; F (Caregwle), 108; G (Colwyn Bay), 89; H (Connah’s Quay), 100.
The Officers of the Battalion are:-
Major Basil E. PHILIPS (commanding)
MajorE.J.H. WILLIAMS, Flint
Capt. J. Ll WILLIAMS, Holywell
Capt. F.H. BORTHWICK, Colwyn Bay
Capt. W. BESWICK, Hawarden
Capt. W.E. TRICKETT, Caregwle
Lieut. T.H. PARRY, M.P., Mold
Lieut. J. B. MARSTON, Mold
Lieut. KINGSBURY, Hawarden
Lieut. JEFFERSON, Connah’s Quay
2nd Lieut. Elford H. ROBERTS, Holywell
2nd Lieut. J.E. PARRY, Mold
2nd Lieut. K.B. TAYLOR, Hawarden
2nd Lieut. T.H. ARMSTRONG, Connah’s Quay
2nd Lieut. J. HUGHES, Caergwle
2nd Lieut. R.J. OWEN, Holywell
2nd Lieut. A.N. ASTBURY, Mold
2nd Lieut. F.J. KING, Caergwle
2nd Lieut. H.O. WILLIAMS, Colwyn Bay
2nd Lieut. H.M. DAVIES, Holywell
2nd Lieut. G.A. HORNER, Connah’s Quay
2nd Lieut. F. CORBETT, Rhyl
2nd Lieut. T. BATE, Flint
2nd Lieut. G.A. ALEXANDER, Flint
2nd Lieut. R.M. MOCCATTa, Colwyn Bay
2nd Lieut. D.R.K. ROBERTS, Colwyn Bay
Headquarters: Capt. C.E. WOOD, Adjutant; Lieut. G. CLARIDGE, Quarter Master.
Sergt. Makjor A.P. SWANSON
Sergt. Major F. BAKER
Quarter-Master G. VALE
Quarter-Master-Sergt. Leo. SCHWARZ
FLINTSHIRE OBSERVER – 27th August 1914 (Col. 4)
SHOTTON – Messrs. Summers’ Generosity
A notice has been issued, dated the 24th Inst. by Messrs. John Summers & Sons, to the employees at the Hawarden Bridge Ironworks, stating that the directors have decided, in order to prevent suffering as much as possible, to make a grant to the wives of men employed who have been called up for military service, of 10s. per week for the wife, with 1s. for each child under 14 years of age.
Gone to the Front
Most of the bowlers who play for the Shotton Conservatives Club have gone to the front, and it will not be possible to raise a team for the remainder of this season.
The club’s fixtures in the Flintshire League have therefore been cancelled.
A suggestion to the V.A.D. – (To the editor of the “Flintshire Observer & News.”)
Sir – with reference to the Voluntary Aid Organisation, is it too late to ask the organisers of this fund to devote the money received to the purchase of of shirts, bandages and so forth, instead of buying material and having it in many cases made to the wrong pattern and under sizes by the ladies who so willingly give their services to the good work? Apart from the waste of good material and time it may interest the members of the V.A.D. to know that owing to this amateur knitting, sewing, and machining, hundreds of poor women in London and elsewhere are being starved, because the workshops where they knit, sew and machine for a bare living are shut or only working half time. In many cases these women may be wives and mothers of our soldiers at the front. By all means subscribe to the V.A.D. – you could not do better – but don’t rob the poor seamstress of her employment. If you buy the garments ready-made, you, help the soldier and also those he leaves behind him.
Yours faithfully, H. Hurlbutt, Llwyn Offa, Mold.
FLINTSHIRE AND THE WAR – Flintshire Observer 3rd September 1914
Recruiting Boom at Shotton. Well done Shotton!
CoL. H. Hurlbutt and Cpt. Swetenham addressed a large open-air meeting in Shotton on Saturday. They appealed to all young and able men to come forward to serve their country in it’s hour of need.
Col. Hurlbutt, in a lucid and able manner, reviewed the situation, and was ably supported by Q.M.S. Haswell and Messr. A Parker, Prestige, and Stratford. Messrs. Parker and Prestige aroused great enthusiasm by declaring their intention to enlist at once.
At the close of the meeting many gave their names. Up to noon on Tuesday upwards of 389 had been sent to the Royal Welch Fusiliers and other regiments.
On Monday 112 went from Shotton Station and 54 on the Tuesday from Wrexham.
One household has created what is probably a record in recruiting. The five sons of ex-Police Sergt. Rogers, living in Salisbury Street, Shotton, joined the R.W.F. on Monday and set out for headquarters on Tuesday morning.
Great enthusiasm prevails in Shotton, and already the idle young fellows who have elected to remain at home are becoming a butt for the jeers of the women and girls.
A large number have also joined from Connah’s Quay and the surrounding districts. One pleasing aspect of the situation is the vigour with which the leaders of the local trade unions have taken up the work of recruiting.
FLINTSHIRE AND THE WAR – Items from the Flintshire Observer 10th September 1914
Connah’s Quay & Shotton
Shotton Ironworks re-open
Mr. Herbert Lewis’s Tribute to the fleet.
The Right Hon. J. Herbert Lewis, M.P., Parliamentary Secretary of the Local Government Board, announced at Prestatyn on Saturday night that on Monday the Ironworks at Shotton would be open for full work after being closed from the outbreak of war.
He was pleased to say that in consequence of the activity of the fleet in keeping open the trade routes they are able to conduct their import and export trade. The seas had been freed, the financial difficulties had been overcome, the Government contracts had been secured, with the result that the Shotton men would benefit and have plenty of employment (applause).
Nine Members of a Bowling Team Enlist.
At a meeting of the Connah’s Quay Conservative Bowling Club it was decided to withdraw from the Flintshire League on account of the present state of affairs in the country. Up to that time none members of the team had enlisted in the army.
Messrs John Blease and Edward Roberts, hon. secretaries of the Shotton Carnival and Fete of Fun, have issued a circular letter, in which they state that owing to the exceptional circumstances created by the European War, the Committee have unanimously decided not to hold the proposed Carnival this year, but to leave it over until next year.
DUKE OF WESTMINSTER’S ESCAPE
Adventure while Carrying Despatches
The “Gaulois” (Paris) published the following:-
” The Duke of Westminster, aide-de-camp to Field Marshal Sir John French, was attacked by a patrol of of Uhlans as he was carrying despatches in a motor-car. A hail of bullets fell on the car, which put on full speed and succeeded in escaping. The Officer who was accompanying the duke was killed.
As the latter saw his comrade collapse he rose in the car, gave a military salute, and said “Good-bye, boy.”
County Herald – 28th August 1914
HAWARDEN BRIDGE STEELWORKS
Notices have been posted in Shotton, Connah’s Quay and Flint, asking that all men who have been employed in the respective mills at Hawarden Bridge works should furnish their names to the managers in the mills before Wednesday of the present week, with a view to arrangements being made for their re-employment next week. During the present week a large number of labourers have been busy in the works.
FLINTSHIRE OBSERVER 10th September 1914
North Wales Football Stopped
Owing to the grave European crises, and in order to encourage the public to husband their resources for the inevitable consequences, it has been unanimously decided to abandon all football competitions controlled by the North Wales Football Association for season 1914-15.
A subscription of £10 is to be given by the Council to the Prince of Wales National Relief Fund and they suggest that North Wales clubs subscribe to the same fund.
The Council also desire that every club discharge to the full its duties and obligations to our Country by rendering every assistance to the military authorities in their endeavour to obtain the necessary recruits.
“PALS” BATTALIONS FOR NORTH WALES
At a recruiting meeting held in Conway on Saturday, a letter from General Mackinnon was read, in which the gallant officer said that a North Wales “Pals” Battalion was being formed.
A resolution calling upon all able-bodied young men between 19 and 35 to help the Empire in its hour of peril by joining Lord Kitchener’s Army was proposed by Mr. J. Porter, seconded by Mr. J.E. Conway Jones, supported (in Welsh) by the Rev. David Davies, the Rev Luther Thomas, and the vicar (the Rev. J.W. Roberts), and by Professor W. Lewis Jones and Professor Milner Parry.
The first American Red Cross ship sailed on Tuesday for Europe, for the relief of the wounded through the war. The vessel is a former Hamburg-American liner, the Prinz Joachim, and has been renamed the Red Cross. Her staterooms have all been remodelled, and some of the saloons turned into nursing wards.
President Wilson has issued a proclamation calling upon the nation, irrespective of creed, to join in a day of prayer for the restoration of world peace. October 4 has been designated as the day to be set apart for this purpose.
CONNAH’S QUAY & SHOTTON _ County Herald Friday 25th September 1914 (Page 7 Co, 1/2)
Recruiting for Kitchener’s Army
A correspondent has sent to the “Chester Courant” the following communication:- I suppose that one is well within the mark stating that the Shotton recruiting district, which includes Connah’s Quay Queen’s Ferry and Garden City, must have sent over 600 men to swell the ranks of His Majesty’s Forces since mobilisation began.
This of course, embraces Reservists called up to the colours, Special Reserve and Territorials, including Denbighshire Hussars. The last-mentioned are now on the East Coast. They, accompanied by their black kitten, the gift of a lady at Connah’s Quay, left Chester on the evening of the 3rd Inst. and are putting in good work on their new camp. All have volunteered for active service.
The 8th Battalion of the Royal Welch has absorbed most of the newly-joined recruits, but some have joined Hussar & Dragoon regiments.
This is a good record for the district, but it would have been more satisfactory had there been a lesser proportion of married men among this number, whose places might well have been taken by many of the young fellows who still abound in this neighbourhood.
Not the least factor in the achievement of the result has been the enthusiastic support given to the movement by the leaders of the trades union organisations in this district. Again, the announcement that the firm of Messrs Summers had generously promised to grant the wife of every man serving with the Forces the sum of 10s per week and 1s for each child, affected the decision of a great number of their workmen.
An analysis of the sources and of the societies from which recruits have been drawn might furnish interesting particulars for statisticians were this the time for such, but the old proverb “Blood will tell,” still holds good.
Here are a few examples that deserve notice. Out of one household, ex-Sergeant Rogers has sent five in one day; four Bunnells (a fifth would have joined had he not been under age, and then he asked permission to join as a Bugler); four Brassingtons, two at the front; three brothers, sons of Teresa Roberts;three sons of Mrs Carter, a widow; two sons of Mrs Leighton, a widow, etc. There are several instances of only sons, whose parents have willingly offered them up at duty’s call. May their names flourish long in the land!
There is a humorous as well as a serious side to recruiting. England furnishes somewhere over 200 special brands of religion, and the various purveyors push their wares with so much pertinacity that the ordinary workingman to-day is puzzled to know which particular sample is best suited to his complaint. Among the samples which the recruiter puts before the applicant in dreary monotones are Congregationalists, Baptists, other Protestants, Methodists, Presbyterians, Jews, Etc. Among those who came forward for attestation was a gentleman who the first time in his life was asked to indicate his religious convictions. He replied “Ahm a galvanizer.” Shotton has thus the honour of giving a new sect to the roll of the nation’s religions.
The question: “Are you willing to enlist for general service?” usually evokes enquiries as to what this means. On being told that this meant “Will you go wherever the regiment is sent?” an enthusiastic patriot replied, “Yes, I’ll go with the regiment through Gehenna and out at the other side”.
Then there is the man who wishes to “defend his country for home service,” and is pained to find that the recruiting officer has no use for him.
The climax is reached when some product of the intermediate schools, who has never handled a rifle, wishes to know whether he could join as an officer, as he had once passed a three-speed gear examination in some part of Wales. He is tersely informed that his services are not required. Truly if England is to be saved, she must look outside the ranks of the mobocracy (sic). Then there is the man who would gladly join but for his age. He is told that is a matter for adjustment. “But my teeth are bad,” he replies, “Oh, that doesn’t matter, you can eat German sausage,” he is told. “Well, I’ll see you this afternoon some time.” He hasn’t been seen since. And we must not forget gallant Michael, whose fiery face inflamed with ardour lit up the carriage as he steamed out of Shotton Station, informing all and sundry that he would bring back the sanguinary Kaiser’s head, and take it around Flint on a Saturday night.
And what of the gallant lads now on Salisbury Plain? Cheery letters come from them, informing their parents that the work is hard and plentiful, but the food good and abundant, fresh air, sound sleep, and hearty appetites. What a change from the fumes and smoke of the ironworks! It is a new ease of life. Right smart they look in their service uniforms, ready and willing to do their country’s work – credit to their friends, an honour to their parish, the pride of their country. Good luck and glory be with them!
UHLANS FOR QUEENSFERRY PRISON – It was stated in Connah’s Quay yesterday (Wednesday), upon what appeared to be reliable authority, that a large number of German Uhlans were expected to reach the “Queensferry Prison for the Germans” at the latter end of the present week. In order to provide accommodation for them and others who are to arrive, detachments of the German prisoners have been removed to be interned in Ireland and the Isle of Man,. Major Gray in now in command of the Military Guard at the Queensferry Prison, and which Guard is being composed of members of the National Reserves who are arriving from different parts of the country. A German interpreter is stationed at the prison; and it is stated that the German and other prisoners are anxiously pleading to be provided with some employment, as the times hangs upon them heavily.