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CHESTER MYSTERY PLAYS. *

NATIONAL SERVICE.I »

UDY ARTHUR GR0SVEN0R.

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FLINTSHIRE VOLUNTEERS' PRIZE…

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THE REV C. A. GRIFFIN. ! +

CORRESPONDENCE.J

CHRISTMAS CAROLS.

SMALL HOLDINGS ACT, 1907.…

| CHESTER CASTLE BYE-ELECTION.…

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IMR. ASQUITH AND THE HOeSE…

FRODSHAM SESSIONS. ♦

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FLINTSHIRE VOLUNTEERS' PRIZE…

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Captain Clark sa.id F Company could not be called a decaying one, and at camp they more than maintained their good reputation. The company was somewhat in a unique position at present, inasmuch as it possessed a full complement of officers. (Hear, hear.) He (the E1J{"ahr) had carried on the company for five years without an officer. They knew that changes were about to be made, but he felt that they would be accepted by every member of the company. He tha-nked the honorary members for their support. A rifle club had been formed in the village, which would in- crease tho popularity of rifle shooting. He proposed the health of Colonel WilJes, remark- ing that whatever ohanges were made he hoped the 2nd Battalion would remain intact, and that Colonel Willes would bo their com- manding officer. Colonel Willes, in reply, congratulated the company on its work and shooting. It had been mooted, he said, that the battalion would be reduced, and it seemed that in the past Flintshire and Denbighshire had been too patriotic. They all knew that Denbighshire were 1,000 strong, and so were Flintshire. -The suggestion was that each oounty should supply only 500 each, and form one batta- lion. He did not agree with this. He hoped they would be very good friends with their neighbours, but it would Lo very much better to remain separate, as lie thought that where there were few battalions as efficient, and in ellC-h a good financial state as these two it would be a bad thing to meddle with them. Nothing had been decided, but although the suggestion had been thrown out he hoped it would not oome to pats. The Colonel of the 1st RitloJio-q was sending in a petition to Mr. Haldane that the battalions be left alone, and he, on behalf of his own battalion, would do the same. The new scheme would cause a much harder time for the men, and the penal- ties would be much more severe, but. as far as ho could see, although they would be altered in name, and belong to the Territorial Army, they would belong to the 5th Battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers. As far as the condi- tions went anybody who joined before the 31st March next, would continue on the old lines. Anybody joi'iing after 31st March would come I under the now scheme, which meant a man would enlist for four ycais unless he could give his C.O. very good reasons why he should leave. The oamp in future would be for a fortnight. They would be paid Army rates of pay, a good deal better paid than in the past. (Hear, hear.) As far as drills, claes-firing, standard and physique, it would be very much the same as up to date. He thought, taken on the whole, the scheme would be a very good thing if carried out. Volunteers were to be taken much more seriously than in the past; in fact they wouJd be called the second line of defenoe. (Loud cheers.) Lieutenant Gordon Allison having proposed "Tlie Visitors," Captain Wilson (1st Battalion) replied, say- ing he thought the idea of Colonel Willes, in having a purely North Wales Brigade, was a good one. During the evening musical items were given by Captain Kington, Lieut. Allison, Lieut. Trevor Roper, and Private Maddocks. CONNAH'S QUAY COMPANY. On Thursday evening the annual supper and distribution of prizes in connection with K (Connah'o Quay) Company of the 2nd V.B. Royal Welch Fusiliers took place, and passed off very pleasantly. The function took place in the well-appointed Drill Hall, which had been gaily dcooratcd for the oocasion with flags and bunting, all in the national colours, and Chinese lanterns. The poular commander 01 the company (Captain C. Hurlbutt) presided over a good attendance, which included the followingLieut.-Colonel C. E. Willes, Major Dyson. Captain and Adjutant King- ton, Mr. J. W. Summers. Mir. E. Sydney Taylor, Captain Clark, Captain E. J. H. Williams, Lieut. Roberts, Lieut. Harrison, Lieut. E. Ll. Marriott, R.N., Quartesmaeter T. H. Haswell, Oolour-Sergeant Peel, Sergt.- Instructor Hill, Sergeant-Major Claridge, and Messrs. A. R. Daviee, J. V. Harris, Ed. BIano, W. H. Pox (Sealaiid), W. Reney, W. J. Williams (Shotton), Charlton, T. Patten, Dr. Whitholme, with the Rev. D. Evans.Apolo- gies for absence were received from Colonel ) Sheriff Roberts (who was indisposed), the Vicar, and Messrs. Williams, Davison, Bato, and tbe senior subaltern. After an excellent supper, catered for by Messrs. Bollands, Chester, the loyaj toasts were pledged. Ca.pt. Hurlbutt remarked that the occasion was very important, aa it was the last time they would meet at a Volunteer supper as Vol- unteers. Volunteers had played a striking part in history, and he instanced the work they did in defeating the Spanish Armada., and their assistanoe on tho occasion of Napoleon's threa- tened invasion about a century ago. The Volun- teers as at preeent existing wore formed about 50 years ago, and the service they had rendered was very creditable, the last notable fnstanoe being during tho South African war. At the end of March next they would cease to be Vol- unteers, and would become members of the ter- ritorial army. In the olde-n days Volunteers were called "dog shooters." Now it seemed they were going to the dogs altogether. They were going to be called "Terriers." (Laughter.) This, however, was not a matter of reproach, as terriois were a very fieroe fighting lot, and the Welsh breed would boot- them all. (R. ncwed laughter.) The onJy difference he could see in the new scheme was that, it would give him an opportunity of getting rid of "rotters, who had bean kept in the corps to cam the capitation granL Under the new scheme the capitation grant was more the concern of the County Association. The scheme would make no great changes, and what were made he hoped would be for the best, and that the men and the battalion would benefit. (Hear, hear.) Ho would like them to leave their battalion alone, but there were strong suggestions that the 1st and 2nd Battalions should be combined into one. Personally, ho thought that would never do. They were both good battalions, but he did not think they would mix very well. What- ever happonexl he hoped this would not be done, and if it was seriously proposed he would like to stir up a public agitation against it. If action was necessary, he hoped the County Council would assist them by petitioning the Army Council not to cut down the regiment of which they were all so justly proud. Rather let the battalions remain, and be given a chance to do in the future wh&t they had done in the past. {Applause.) He thanked the subscribers and the employers of labour, especially men- tioning Messrs. J. W. Summers, and announced that the local veteran shooting beam had offered for competition next year a ohallcngo cup or piece of plate. Continuing, the Captain said that the strength of the company this year was 94, the figures for the previous years being 84, 61 and 55 respectively. The classification in musketry was 95, the other figures to--in, 82, 55 and 60 respectively. But for tho loss of eight m011 who had joined other branches of the ser- vice tho strength would this year have been 103. There had been a great increase in the amount of Morris tube shooting, the quantity of ammunition expended in 1905 being 2.003 rounds, and this year it was 9,250. (Applause.) Mr. J. W. Summers then presented the prizes. The cup presented by Cap!. Hurlbutt for the highest score in cJass firing, company shoot. and tho Rhyi competition was won by Sergt. A. E.. Jones; that for the best recruit, presented by Mr. Davison, by Private J. E. Hughes; and that by the tradesmen of Connah's Quay for the beet shoo ing section by No. 1 section, in charge of Coir.-Sergt. Prince. On the motion of Capt. Hurlbutt, Mr. Sum- mers was thanked for his services. hi reply, Mr. Summers said he was glad to find from the figuics which had been read that they had gono up in strength from 65 to 94. He was glad for Capt. Ilurlbatt's sake. (Applause.) The Captain had been most assiduous and at- tentive as captain of tha company, and he dc-- eeivcd all the success he had achieved. (Hear, hear.) He congratulated him, moreover, on the fine body of man he had to command, and it r-eemed to him (Mr. Summers) that there was a good „«k?ial to be said for the Volunteers. He gave his time, he lout. a certain amount of pay during his oamp, and it sherved a great patriots ism in making these sacrifices for his country. Ho had no doubt that if the Volunteer were called upon to defend his country-tiid he hoped the need would never arise—he would be ready and willing to do his duty. (Applause.) Men- tioning the territorial scheme, Mr. Summers said it was not for him, a civilian, to criticise this scheme. It had been formulated by the finest Army experts that we had at the head of military affairs, and they must assume that it was the best poissible, scheme if thoroughly carried out. But it rested largely, almost en- tirely he might say, with the Volunteers them- selves to make this scheme a great sucoess. There was a County Association being formed to carry cut the scheme in that particular dis- trict, and he hoped as a member of that asso- ciation that, they would get. all the assistance they could. Mr. Haldane had given it as his opinion that he had every confidence that under the new scheme the Volunteer foroo would bo a groat strength to the Army, and would bo a splendid arm of tlie military service, and be much more efficient than it had been in the past. Of course it was impossible as yet to predict, or forecast what, the effect of the scheme would be. He knew the spirit of patriotism was alive throughout the country, and he wae toud that sinoe- the territorial scheme was for- mulated, recruits to the Volunteers had con- tinued to increase. If necessity arose for the R.W.F. to be enrolled for active service, he felt sure that K Company would be ready and fully competent, to defend our country. (Applause.) In conclusion he congratulated those who had won prizes, and the officers and men on their splendid efficiency. (Applause.) The to.a.st of "The Volunteers" was proposed by Mr. E Sydney Taylor, and ooupled with it were the names of Major Dyson and Capt. Ciark, who responded!.—"Our Guests" was also submitted, and coupled with it were tho names of Mr. J. V. Harris and Sergt. Peel.—The con- cluding toast was "K Company," which was proposed by Lient. CoL C. E. Willc&-Tlie ar- tis46 who contributed to tho harmony of the evening were Capt. Kington, Mr. Loui Parry (Chester), etc., the proceedings terminating with the rendering of the National Anthem. COL. DA VIE&-COOKE'S CRITICISM. Colonel B. G. Daviee-Oooke presided at the distribution of prizes in connection with the Mold (A) Company of the 2nd V.B.R.W.F. on Thursday evening. The Colonel said they lived in momentous times, especially for those Volunteers in North Wales, where best regi- ments it was proposed to reduce to half bat- talions, for that was what Lord Lucas, Mr. Haldane's secretary, bad, been deputed to tell them a.t the representative meeting, held last month at Denbigh, and convened by the Lords Lieutenant of Flintshire and Denbighshire. He felt it was a dagger in hie 'heart to be told that the fine regiment to which he had devoted over a quarter of a centuiry of the best. of his life, and on which had been quoted by the best authorities ae one of tho finest in the ser- vcie, was to be reduced. Surely some weaker corps and some worse dis- ciplined men might have been taken. He was a member of the County Association, and whenever ho had the opportunity he should speak tip for the Volunteers of Flintshire. (Cheers.) He lad heard a rumour that if pressure wae brought at the right time and the right place they might get this proposal regarding Flintshire and Denbighshire Volun- teers rescinded, and that a division would bo formed of North Wales men also. He was in hopes that they might get that part of the scheme appertaining to them altered or miti- gated. They might depend upon it the County Association would do all they could to cur- mount the difficulties which they thought they saw before them, and to further the interests of the Volunteer movement in North Wales. (Loud applause.) Besides the support of his friends, he had been helped to his decision to support the County Aseooiation. by an over- powering feeding of loyalty to his Kimg, who had called the Lords-lieutenant together and aaked their co-operation. He would bow to the wish of his King, and putting all other feelings aside, as the senior d^pirty-Jieutenant of the county, he would support the Lord- lieutenant He begged them all as old com- rades to follow his load and rely for an im- provement of the position on most humble and reepeotful petitions to his Majesty, to which he felt sure the King would not turn a deaf ear. (Applause.) BUCKLEY ENGINEERS. The annual supper and prize presentation of the Buckley Engineers was held on Thursday evening. The members paraded at the head- quarters, Mill-lane, at 7 p.m., and, headed by their fine band, under the leadership of Banel- master Arthur Griffiths, they marched to the parieh room, Lane End, where an excellent supper was served by Sergeant and Mm. John Jones. In the unavoidable absence of the com- manding officer (Major R. Cecil Davies), who is in Spain, owing to the serious illness of his daughter there, Lieut. David Fraser presided,, and he wae supported by Surgeon-Captain Lunt, Lieut. Haswell, Chaplain the Rev. D. H. Pierce, Capt. W. Newton (2nd V.B.R.W.F.), Captain Williamoon, Q.M.S. Lockwood, Q.M.S. Davies, Sergt. D. Thomas, Corporal Morris (20(1 Earl of Chester's Volunteers), Scrgt.-Major Woods (3rd Corporal Sparks (A.R.M.C.), Trooper Sullivan (Cheshire I.Y.), and Messrs. George J. Roberts, Hugh Moore, Howard Evans, W. H. Hallmark, George H. Fisk, and the non-com- missioned officers of the corps. Lieut. Fraser said that t.he present strength of the corps was 132, so 28 recruito were required to get up to the full strength of 160, and in the name of the commanding officer he would again offer the same prizes as last year for the member intro- duoing the larges-t number of recruite. The camp at Clhatham was a most instructive one, and he was very glad to say that the members' behaviour in camp could not have been better. It had boon a very bad season for their musketry courses, owing to the many wet days, but, not- withstanding this, 47 members and 7 recruits had fireel their clacss, and out of that total there were 17 marksmen. 13 2nd class shots, and two 3rd shots, and the average of the lot was 71 points. Next year's camp would most probably bo held at Abergavenny, Mid-Wales, but before that there would be some very important changes in the Volunteer force, and they would by then have become part of the new Territorial Army scheme, or, indeed, might possibly be put out of existence altogether. But the officers were going to try all they knew to put before the proj)cr authorities the importance of retaining them as Engineers, owing to the fact that Buckley was a good centre to obtain good engineers, because of the class of men employed in the district. He was very sorry that he had to take the place of Major Daviee that evening, and particularly for the cause of his absence,1 U- but he was very pleased to say that Miss Davie.s was repidly regaining health and strength, and he proposed to eenel a telegram in the morning conveying the officers' and members' congratula- lations to Major and Miss Davies on her recovery, and telling Major Davies that they had spent a most enjoyable evening. (Applause.) Captain Newton, in presenting the prizes, reo marked the corps had always been so officiently officercd by the successive commanders, Major Gibson, Major Lamb and Major R. Cecil Davies, and now Licut. Fraser had shewn them that he had a thorough grasp of the work of the corps and could take charge, as he had done that night. Other toasts honoured were The Command- 1 ing- Officer,' "The Chairman," "Surgeon-' Captain Lunt," "Lieut. Harwell," "The Visitor^ and "The Entertainers." At intervals during the proceedings various items were oon- tributed by Sergeant Hiornas (violin solos), Mr. W. H, Hallmark (recitations), the Rev. D. H. Pierce ;■ ketch), and songs by Trooper Sulli-' van. "Corporal Morris. Postman Yates (late 8}lwp.<;hirz:s), Sappers Peters and Fitton. Air. George H, Fisk was an efficient accompanist. The following were the principal prize- winners:—Cias3 Firing, trained men: 1, 2nd Corporal Joseph Hop wood. 95; 2. Sergt. Robert Fox, 93; 3, 2nd Corporal Enoch Hughes 91. Recruits: 1, Sapper Arthur Griffiths.0 112; 2, Sapper D. Griffiths, 97. Cup Competition: 1, Corpl. Jcs. Mountforel, 5&, £ 3 and cup, value ten guineas (presented by Major R. Cecil Davies); 2, SNgi, Samuel Peters, 54; 3, 2nd Corporal Enoch Hughes, 54; 4, Q.M.S. S E. Gregory, 52; 5, 2nd Corporal Harry Connah. 51. Drill Handi- cap: 1, 2nd Corporal Harry Connah, 88; 2, 2nd Corporal Enoch Hughes, 75; 3, Corporal Joseph Mount ford, 73. Recruits: 1, Sapper T. P. Gerken. 18; 2, Sapper A. Griffiths, 17. Aggre- gate Prizes: 1, 2nd Corporal Harry Connah, 105; 2, Q.M.S. S. E. Gregory, 104; 3, 2nd Corporal Enoch Hughes, 98. Tradesmen's Competition: 1, C.S.M. J. T. Hopwood, 24; 2, SeTgt. R. Edwards. 24; 3, Sapper A. Titton, 23; 4. Sargt.- Instructor W. P. Adams. 22; 5, Sergt. S. Peters, 21; 6, Sapper W. Bithcll, 21; 7, 2nd Corporal R. Ellis, 21; 8, Sapper J. H. Jones, 20.

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