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r ABERGAVENNY SOLDIERS. I…

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r ABERGAVENNY SOLDIERS. I FORM OF RECOGNITION SUGGESTED DINNER AND SMOKING CONCERT. I A meeting of discharged and demobilised tv-'idiers and sailors at Abergavenny was held at the Town Hall on Friday evening last for the purpose of considering what form of public recognition should be given them in connection with the celebration of Peace. Co!. J. (V. Bishop presided, and was supported by the Mayor (Aid. Z. Wheatley), Major J. R. javeb, and mallY others, A Matter of £ s. d. Col- Bishop, addressing the men as comrades, said that he had be-n askecl to take the chair at the last moment, and laboured under the dis- ability of not knowing what the meeting was for, but after his years' services with the Territorials. and since the war with other forces, he had no doubt that they would get to business, and that there would be no stupid horseplay. With j regard to the men who had served during the war, nothing that could possibly be done would be an adequate recognition after what they had gone through. That would be impossible but what could be done would be done to the best of their ability. It all came down to a humdrum matter of pounds, shillings and pence, and they had to cut their coat according to their cloth. The question had been through various phases, some pleasant and some very unpleasant, but the best way to get to work would be to appoint ii-ou l d be to appoint five representatives of the men to co-operate with five from the Peace Celebrations Committee, aud between them they would no doubt formn- ate an acceptable scheme. That seemed a feasible way of getting on with the work. He was not speaking on behalf of the Peace Celebra- tions Committee he had not attended a meet- ing, although he believed he was really a member. They would, welcome any reasonabl e suggestion and he was sure that the men would put forward nothing but what was useful and reasonable. It a reasonable scheme If a reasonable scheme ..as put forward, he did not think that there would be am- lack of funds. ii?,t thir-k the meeting for suggestions or H,-? asked the t(,r or A voice I would like to know from wh2t source the funds will come. Another man in the audience said that he was wounded in 1915 and drew f2, III i7s. of which â¢was taken to the fund. He had had to live on the remaining half-dollar. The Chairman You are looking very well ou it. (Laughter). Mr. Jones Is the -1 a head knocked on the lie ad ? The Chairman Von may take it that it is. -Another voice The best way to represent the comrades would be to select five members. The Chairman In my opinion that would be the best way to get on with the work. In reply to a question about the funds, the Chairman, said that :t would be provided par- tially out of the 4d. rate and partially from voluntary subscriptions. Public subscriptions were being ad vertlsed Jar in that week's Chronicle." A Voice Then we are indirectly paying for our own. recognition Not Asking for Anything. Another voice There is a feeling among the I that we don't wish to be any incumbrance upon the rates. We are not asking for anything at all. (Loud applause). We are satisfied that we have done our duty, and we are asking for nothing. We expected something on Peace Day and were disappointed, but we are the last men in the world to ask for anything to be put upon the ratepayers. The Chairman The last speaker h4 ex- pressed in language what I have always thought. No soldier here would think anything of re- ceiving £ 1, or £500, for the services he has given. The best recognition he can have is the assurance of having done his duty. If you wish that no part of the rate shall be used for the purpose of the soldiers, then I will see to it that no part is used. (Applause). A voice What will become of that balance ? The Chairman It will be in the hands of the Peace Celebration Committee, and will be used for some charitable purpose. I will see, as a member of the Corporation, that it is so used. The following were then nominated and elected to represent the men to meet the repre- sentatives of the Peace Celebration. Committee Armourer Q.M.S. Evenson, R.E. Sapper Douglas, R.E. Sergt. Jim Connolley, 2nd Moas, Trooper Fred Walder, R.G.H.Y. and Sergt. Wm. Didcot, R.F.A. The above were nominated as plain Mr. 's," and on the Chairman asking for the ranks, one of the audience remarked Among de- mobilised soldie-rz, there is only one rank." (Laughter). A voice I suggest that we wait for the result of the subscription list before we make any list I)e f o-,e we make anv arrangements. The Chairman You may 'be quite certain that if it can be produced at a reasonable figure there will be no difficulty about the money. A Disorganised Body. I Mr. Ivoxley said that the soldiers were a dis- organised body. There -.sere plenty of ways in which they needed assistance, and no one could assist a soldier but a soldier. They should be an organised body. He suggested that they be placed on a proper tooting and become properly organised. (Applause' A voice At one time there was a branch of the N.F.D.D.S.S. I was one of the committee. The Federation was open to even-one, but it received no support. A voice What about the funds ? The previous speaker replied that the funds left over were divided between the Cottage Hospital and the Nursing Association. A voice I propose a discharged soldiers' association. a soldiezs' Another voice I propose a public meeting in the Park at three o'clock on Sunday of all demobilised men. The Chairman There seems to be a strong desire to have an organisation and to meet to- gether and have that social life which always appeals to a soldier. The Comrades of the Great War is one such organisation. You will get what you want. and what you ought to want. (Applause). It is not necessary to call another meeting. Mr. J. Carter said that Major Davey had asked him to find out the teeling of the soldiers of the ti .vsn on the question. He was willing to call a meeting at any time, together with other in- fluential people in the district, with a view to starting a branch of the Comrades of the Great .?tartin Major Davey was himself a Comrade. Several men present said that they did not rare for the Comrades of the Great War and would prefer the N.F.D.D.S.S. The Chairman suggested that they call a neetmg and ask Major Davey to attend, so that they might ask him to explain the objects of the organisations. No doubt Major Davey would call a meeting at all early date for that purpose. This suggestion was put to the meeting as a proposition and carried. A Dinner and Smoking Concert. ] A member of the audience asked whether there was any objection to a meeting in the Park, and remarked that they did not want the police interfering with them. The Chairman ottered the use of the Drill Hall for a meeting on the Sunday. The Mayor said lie would take the responsi- bility, of offering them the free use of the Town flail, where they w.;iild be more comfortable. It was decided that a meeting should be held on Sunday afternoon at the Town Hall. Capt. Moon proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman, and this was seconded and carried. A vote of thanks was also accorded the Mayor for the use of the Town Hall, and the Mayor, in reply, said that he wanted them to try if they I < onld not make this year the pleasantest of their lives. He would be very pleased to do anything he could, as Mayer, as he had done for the last live years. He hoped that the response to the public appeal would be a liberal one and that the result would be worthy of the occasion. The Chairman said that he was always de- lighted to meet comrades of the Territorial Force and other branches of the service. He hoped that their efforts that night would meet with the success they deserved. Referring to the Mayor's remark about his being the prospec- tive Colonel of the -rd Mons., he might as well inform them now that the War Office had seen lit to approve of his appointment as commanding officer. (Applause) He would soon be looking out for recruits. (Laughter). When the drums liegan to beat he was confident there would be 110$hoTi aee of men to ^eep up the reputation of the 3rd Mons. and to make it worthy of t:10c who had gone before. The soldiers held a meeting at the Town Hali on Sunday afternoon. The proceedings did not last very long, and those present unanimously agreed that the recognition should take the form of a dinner and smoking concert.

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