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PROPOSED VOLUNTEER. CORPS…

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PROPOSED VOLUNTEER. CORPS FOR ABERYSTWYTH. ENTHUSIASTIC MEETING ON TUESDAY. There was a most enthusiastic meeting at the Progress Hall, Aberystwyth, called for the purpose of considering the advisability of establishing a Volunteer corps in the town. The room was crowded with young men who beguiled the time whilst waiting for the principals of the movement by sing- ing Soldies of the Queen." The story of the first attempt at forming a corps in Aberystwyth in con- nection with the Montgomeryshire Volunteer Regiment is fresh in the memory of most of our readers. But whatever was the effect of the dis- appointment attending that step at the time it was evident that it formed no deterrent on the present occasion. Undoubtedly the present war in Africa and the knowledge that hundreds of young men of these Isles were going to the front as volunteers had roused the patriotic fervour of the people of Aberystwyth. Amongst those who came to the meeting, and by their presence lent encouragement to the proceedings, were Councillor D 0 Roberts, J.P., ex-Mayor, Councillor R J Jones, J.P., Mr A J Hughes, Town Clerk, Mr H Howell Evans, Chief Constable, Mr G Fossett Roberts, Councillor R Peake, Councillor T E Salmon, Mr H Roberts, (Trefechan) Mr J C Rea, Lieut Stephens, It. A., Mr J Brenig Edwards, Mr Tom Rowlands, butcher, etc. -On the motion of Mr L Bearne, seconded by Mr G H Evans, Councillor D C Roberts, ex-mayor, was voted to the chair. He said that he was sorry that he could not remain for more than ten minutes, having to attend another meeting. But he was ready to take the chair in order to show that he was certainly heartily in favour of the movement, and what he hoped would be the result of that meeting that evening (hear, hear). As they knew there had been many attemps made in Aberystwyth to form a Volunteer corps, but he ought to say, as they all knew, that there was a Volunteer corps-(hear, hear)—in the town years ago and most of them could n,)t remember it. He thought the time bad now come when they ought to really make a very strong attempt to form a corps in Aberystwyth (cheers). It seemed to him that from the number there that evening that they only wanted a little determination to be able to get up an excellent corps in the town (hear, hear). There were, however, many points which they would have to consider. One point was whether they could obtain a sufficient number of men to make the thing a success, but there could be no question about that and he was certain there were plenty of men ready to join so soon as a corps was formed. There was also another point upon which perhaps theN would be difficulty, and that was whether the corps should be infantry or artillery (hear, hear). The position which the country was in at the pre- sent time made it their duty to be ready to support the Government in every way (hear, hear).—Mr G H Evans, the convener of the meeting, was then called upon to state what steps he had taken in the matter. Finding, he said, there was no Volunteer corps at Aberystwyth, he marie inquiries, and as- certained that an attw; .»> form cue years ago had fallen through. He uiea wrote to Col Pryce- Jones, and the Adjutant sent the following reply -Sir, in reply to your letter dated 10th iustaut, I beg to inform you that at a public meeting at Aberystwyth in the autumn of 1897, it was decided not to form a company at the place, although Col Pryce-Jones was most anxious for the same. Now other places in the district have the prior claim, and therefore the formation of a Company mentioned cannot be entertained at pre- sent. But I should be glad to receive the names of the proposed officers in case Col Pryce-Jones might see his way at no distant date to sanction the same. I only wish there were many more with your sense of patriotism, as it is a disgrace for a town of the size of Aberystwyth not to be able to form a Volunteer company, whereas a small place like Towyn promptly formed one when they were given the chance of doing so in the pkice of Aberyst- wyth."—After this, Mr Evans said he decided to call this public meeting. He had come' to the conclusion that it would be better to abandon the idea of going in for an infantry corps, and that it would be better to organise an artillery corps.— The Chairman The matter is now before you and you must decide whether you will go in for a Volunteer Corps or not.—Mr L Bearne proposed that a corps be formed. He was not particular as to whether it was infantry or artillery, but he thought that it-was a disgrace to Aberystwyth not to have a Volunteer Corps in the town. In many little villages no bigger than Llanbadarn they had their Volunteer Corps and they were affiliated to some town eight or nine miles away (hear, hear). He had been connected with the Volunteers since 1866, and he had two sons in them. One of them had passed for a Sergeant in the engineers and be was willing to join and give his services. For his part he preferred infantry (hear, hear and cheers). If they went in for artillery thev would be second to the militia, and this he knew many young men in Aberystwyth would not like to do.Mr R H Bearne seconded the proposi- tion.—Mr J C Rea said that it was perfectly evident that there were no two questions as to whether they should form a corps or not. Mr Bearne said that it was a disgrace that there was no Volunteer corps in the town. It was a disgrace, but the disgrace was not upon Aberystwyth (hear, hear). Two or three years ago a movement was formed and brought to a succe sful point, but owing to the disgraceful tactics and the disgraceful red tapeism of the War Office, those in charge of the matter, one detail in the apportion- ment of officers quashed the movement (shame). In those days Volunteers were looked upon as toy soldiers not to be encouraged, but the Volunteers would now have to be considered. In supporting that resolution he suggested that they should no longer endeavour to attach ourselves to any regiment in which Col. Pryce-Jones is connected (loud applause). If that corps was to be formed it should be formed as an artillery corps unless they could be affiliated to some other infantry regiment (cheers). Few towns could give such facilities for artillery practice as they now pressed. Mr Bearne said that they would be second :,c the Militia, but be contended that in about a couple of years it would be the other way about (laughter and cheers). — The proposal ■was put to the meeting and carried, unanimously.— The Ex-Mayor having to leave, Mr A J Hughes, town clerk, took the chair.—The Chairman then invited opinions, as to whether the proposed corps should be infantry or artillery.—Mr Bearne said his preference was to infantry, but either branch would receive his best support,—Mr J C Rea pro- posed that they form an artillery corps, and that it be left to a committee to decide which regiment they should affiliate themselves to.—Mr T Wilson seconded.—Mr Bearne said it did not lay with the committee but with the War Office as to which regiment they would be attached to.—Mr C Lloyd supported an artillery corps, on the ground that it would be difficult to get a range suitable for the Lee-Metford Rifles (hear, hear). — Mr Heritage supported an infantry corps, believing that every soldier should learn the use of small arms. The question of range, he considered, would be no difficulty, inasmuch as a Rifle Club had already been formed in the town, and they, no doubt, would get a range. (A Voice That is private). What they wanted to learn was what the Boers were teaching them now, and that was how to shoot. In the summer they went into camp and it was the best thing they could have. Infantry took the cake in his opinion (laughter and hear, hear).—Mr C Lloyd said the Boers were also show- ing them a bit in artillery practice, and it was necessary, therefore, to become efficient in those weapons. If General White had the men who were present there that evening with him they would have been out of Ladysmith long ago (roars of laughter).—Mr George Fossett Roberts said as a member of the movement initiated in 1897 the difficulties connected with the formation of a rifle corps were almost insuperable, and he feared if they attempted it again they would certainly fail. He would, therefore, support an artillery corps.— Councillor R Peake said the only thing that pre- vented a volunteer corps being formed in 1897 was a certain little bit of difference between one or two and not among the 200 or 300 who were prepared to join. They should not, however, allow such things as those to prevent them obtaining their object. They should receive greater consideration from the War Office, and in the present state of affairs that department could not afford to dispense with their services. He advocated the formation of a com- mittee to make inquiries regarding infantry and at,tillery corps, who could present their report at another public meeting. Mr Peake also urged that Colonel Davies Evans, the Lord-Lieutenant of the County, should be asked to take steps to form vol- unteer corps throughout the whole county. He could go to the War Office and having the whole county at his back, could demard that permission be given to organise such corps. There were hundreds of working men in Cardiganshire willing to join, and Col Evans could go to the War Office and demand a corps for the county (hear, hear). They should ask him point blank if he would go to the War Office and ask for a Cardiganshire corps, not attached to Merionethshire or Montgomeryshire -(hear, hear)—but attached to Cardiganshire, not to a flannel shop (laughter and bear, hear). —Lieutenant Stephens, R.A., was asked to speak, and he laid great stress upon the need of having some one at the head of the movement who could go to the War Office and practically demand what he wanted (hear, hear).-At the suggestion of the Chairman, Mr Rea agreed to withdraw his proposition, Mr Hughes stating that they should not stultify themselves by committing themselves to either an infantry or volunteer corps. He also thought the idea of approaching the lord-lieutenant of the county was an excellent one, and he was perfectly certain that any aid they could secure from him would, they could feel confident, be sup- plemented by the aid of the county member (ap- plause). Col Davies-Evans had a son out in the front, and the Colonel himself was an old soldier. Referring to the letter received from the Adjutant, he stated he could say a great deal about it. But if they were imbued with that true feeling they must let bye-gones be bye-gones. He had had the whole of the correspondence on the matter, and he thought it would be better not to discuss this letter, except to state that it was true it was decided not to form a, Volunteer Corps at Aberystwyth, but there were reasons for that which he could give. However, the same men were again ready to start a Corps, and their number had now been increased tenfold. He knew it was a healthy feeling to have rivalry between county and county, and he had no desire to run down Mont- gomeryshire, but where they bad a county like Cardiganshire it was humiliating to think that they should be affiliated to Montgomeryshire or any other county (applause). He hoped they would get a good committee who would go earnestly and loyally into the question, and secure the Lord- Lieutenant and the County Member to place their claims before the War Office, and if they failed there they would go to the House of Commons (cheers).— Councillor R J Jones said he was a member of the committee that worked in 1897 and 1898, and he felt at that time that it was really an insult to Aberystwyth that they should in any way be affiliated to any county except their own. He felt strongly that they should appoint a small committee and that committee togointothe whole matter as to whether the difficulty of forming an infantry corps was in. surmountable, and report to another public meet- ing as soon as possible. He must say, however, and say it emphatically, that he felt it a disgrace that any town in the county of Cardigan be affiliated to any county but its own. In fact he regarded Montgomeryshire as subordinate to Cardiganshire (hear, hear, and laughter). He also said that only a week or nine days ago he was approached by some members of the old committee and delegated to convene a public meeting similar to this, but seeing the announcement of this meeting he bad not called such meeting in order to see whsft the result would be. He was pleased to find such an enthusiastic assembly, and thought it was a sufficient guarantee that they would have a good Volunteer corps shortly established amongst them. Mr Jones added that Mr Vaughan Davies, M.P., said a few days ago that now was the opportunity to form such corps, and Parliament would b" most anxious to accept any sugges- tions that would come from any town. Councillor Peake asked to be allowed to say that so soon as the Rifle Club was sanctioned by the War Office it would be open to everybody. The resolutions to appoint a committee was then un- animously agreed to, the following gentlemen being appointed thereon Messrs R J Jones, D C Roberts, R Peake, T E Salmon, G Fossett Roberts, J C Rea, G H Evans, II 'Bearne, and Lieutenant Stephens. Tke Chief Constable was also named but asked to ot. excused.—Before^ ieaving the large audience joined in singing God save the Queen." Outside the men assembled four deep and marched along Bridge street, Terrace, Terrace road, and up North Parade and Great Darkgate street. They sang patriotic songs and crowds of amused and delighted spectators watched the proceedings from the side- walks. o- —

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THE VOLUNTEER MOVEMENT AT…

THE REPRESENTATION OF MERIONETH.

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF NORTH…

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