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COLWYN BAY.

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CONWAY.

THE LANCASHIRE AND CHESHIRE…

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THE LANCASHIRE AND CHESHIRE BRIGADE AT CONWAY. Once more Conway is the site of a Lancashire and Cheshire Volunteer Brigade Whitsuntide en- campment. Much has been written of the beauties of the Morfa, and its natural advantages for camping purposes, and too much cannot be said in commendation of the wisdom of those who first selected this ideal site, for ideal it certainly is. From a purely practical poini. of view the large tract of marsh—Morfa though its name be, is as dry as the most exacting Volunteer could desire-is admirably adapted to the requirements of either a brigade or a regimental camp. But when to this is added the fact that the surround- ing country is a magnificent panorama of hill and dale and river and sea, one cannot wonder that a visit to the Conway camp is anticipated with teelings^of more than ordinary pleasure. To the east the Great Orme, with its scarred face, stretches in broken yet majestic line, sheltering Llandudno at its further base. Following the coast, the eye notes the estuary of the Conway river and traces it on towards the town. which, however, is nearly hidden from the observer. Conway seems to be well-nigh hemmed in by the towering hills of the Conway range, out of which there branches a well defined ridge that forms the western boundary of the camp and terminates in the bold headland at the entrance to the Menai Straits. Away to the north-west stretches the dim outline of Anglesea, with the curious lump known as Puffin Island rising abruptly out of the sea in the foreground. The northern boundary is, of course, the sea itself. What pleasanter prospect could be wished for ? As none of the Battalions reached Conway till late in the afternoon on Saturday they were spared the discomfort of renewing acquaintance with the Morfa under a shower of rain. There was scarcely a cloud in the sky when the 1st Battalion marched in from the roadside railway station near the Marsh. Earlier in the day the summits of the hills had been shrouded in mist, and Puffin Island, out at sea, had been quite in- visible behind a veil of thin, drifting rain. There is a tradition at Llandudno and Conway, as at some other watering-places, that the sun would shine all day throughout the tourist season if only it were let alone. The rain on Saturday, accord- ingly, was not accepted as a natural visitation, but was unanimously put down to the long ac- count of the 2nd Lancashire Volunteer Artillery, whose big guns had been blazing away on the opposite side of the Conway river. Towards nightfall the view to the west was obstructed only by the brilliance of the sun, which in its downward course seemed to be setting the sea on fire, yet at the same time the irregular ridges of the Conway hills were already gilded by the ravs of an almost full moon. Under so auspicious a sky the men came trooping into camp, Battalion after Battalion, in excellent spirits. Fatigue parties had long made everything ready for their reception, so that on arrival at the parade ground they were at once told off to their separate tents and provided with an evening meal. A stiff breeze blew in from the sea during the night, but not so violently as to cause any dis- comfort in camp and in the morning there was again every promise of fine weather. Sunday, as usual, was practically observed as a day of rest, except that, as on other days of the week, the men had to be up and stirring by about six o'clock in the morning for roll-call. In the forenoon, there was a Church Parade in two divisions, one consisting of the 3rd Lancashire Fusiliers, the 3rd Cheshire, and the 2nd South Lancashire, and th other of the 1st and 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers and the 1st South Lancashire. The Rev J. E. Gull, Chaplain to the 3rd (Salford) Lancashire Fusiliers, conducted the service in the first of these divisions, and the Rev T. G. Blackburne, Chaplain to the 1st (Bury) Lanca- shire Fusiliers, in the second division. At each service, the choir and instrumental music were provided by the Chaplain's own Battalion. In his sermon, Mr Gull remarked that a service in camp must be a ceremonial observance more than an actual opportunity for devotion. On Whit-Sunday, nevertheless, it was most appro- priate that men in their youth and strength should meet together for the worship of God. He urged them to make the coming week not only a week of discipline and training for the body and mind, but also a help to the souls of all who were gathered together in camp. As the Israelites were bidden to let no foul thing appear amongst their tents, but to order all things reverently and decently in their encampment, so he counselled them to see to it that there should be among them no impure words nor anything unbecoming to Christian soldiers who, having taken an oath to serve the Queen, had testified to their belief in God. Mr Blackburne, in the course of his sermon at the other service, commended to the minds of the volunteers the triple watchword For God, for Queen, and for country," and said that those three things—the altar, the throne, and the home- seemed the very foundation of our Christian civilisation and society. They represented things and facts well worth living and dying for. He prayed that their patriotism might never be spoiled by pride or selfishness, that it might never be quenched by coldness or indifference. To- day," the preacher added, oil the birthday of our noble Queen, whom may God long preserve to reign over us, as she has already done tor fifty-nine years-to-day we may offer special prayers and thanksgivings to Almighty God for all He has done for our Queen and country. We shall pray for the prosperity of the United Kingdom, and the blessings of peace. May the flag under which we are now called to serve be the flag of a loyal and united people, and may that flag never be dishonoured by the enemies of our Queen, nor debased or discredited by her own subjects." Another service was held in the afternoon for the benefit of the 5th Cheshire, who did not arrive till about noon on Whit-Sunday. During last week a large staff was busily engaged in erecting tents, laying out the ground, and allotting positions for the various battalions. The baggage was brought by means of the Ship Canal and carried up the Conway River at high tide, transport in bulk to the camp being then a comparatively easy manner. This year's camp is again composed of seven Battalions, and its constitution differs in one detail only from that of 1895. It comprises the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd V.B. Lancashire Fusiliers, the 1st and 2nd V.B. South Lancashire, and the 3rd and 5th V.B. Cheshire Regiment. The 1st South Lancashire take the place of the 4th Cheshire, who have gone into regimental camp at Blackpool. Last year the brigade numbered 5000, and this time the total strength was expected to reach 4500, the differ- ence being accounted for by the fact that the 1st South Lancashire is numerically much weaker than the 4th Cheshire. The plan of the camp is less compact than in former years. Owing to the storms of last winter the ground sloping to the beach has become broken and insecure.

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