r 1st SOUTH WALES BORDERERS. ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME at BRECON. Entertained to Lunch. i Parade to the Priory Church. The splendid welcome which Brecon gave to the remnants" of the 2nd South Wales Borderers when they returned to the home of the gallant 24th in the spring was well matched by the reception accorded the cadre of the 1st Battalion last Thursday evening, when they arrived home after nearly five years' absence, bringing with them their historic Colours, which had been sent out when they marched into Germany. The town was freely decorated with flags and bunting and although the notice was short a great crowd awaited the arrival of the 5-30 Brecon and Merthyr train, which brought the heroes home. Amongst representa- tive people on the platform were The Mayor and Mayoress (Councillor W. F. Parry deWinton and the Hon. Mrs deWinton), the Deputy Mayor (Aid. David Powell), Aldermen E. A. Wright and H. C. Rich, Councillors J. W. Hedger, W. Williams, and Evan Morgan, and the Town Clerk (Mr G. Hyatt Williams) the Bishop of Swansea, Rev. W. E. T. Morgan (Llan- igon, Hay), Mr and Mrs Molyneux F. Thomas, Mrs Hore-Ruthven, Major and Mrs Walker, Miss Adelaide Williams, Capt. T. P. Thomas, Mr W. J. Knight (President of the Chamber of Trade). There were also present Colonel J. Going, D.S.O. (commanding 24th Regi- mental Area) and Mrs Going, Major Wood, Captain H. Graystone, and a num- ber of other officers from the Depot; and a number of non-commissioned officers and men of the 1st Battalion stationed at the Depot awaited their comrades, amongst them the veteran hero of Rorke's Drift, Pte. John Williams, V.C. The cadre, which numbered upwards of 50, had travelled from Canterbury, and the train came in through a veritable barrage" of fog-signals, accompanied by the cheers of the crowd. THE M AYOR'S SPEECH OF WELCOME. Assembling outside the station gates in a square formed by the Depot troops, the heroes were addressed by the Mayor, who wore his chain of office. His Worship, in a cordial speech of welcome to Col. Taylor and his men, said that for 50 years Brecon had been the home of the famous regiment, the old 24th. and it gave him, on behalf of the Town and Corporation, extraordinary pleasure, after nearly five years of war on the French front fighting for liberty, to welcome them back. They were one of the first of the British regiments to land in France, under the command of Colonel Leach, and it was no stretch if imagina- tion to say that Brecon had had its great regiment in its thoughts from that day until now. (Cheers). That was not the occasion to go into details of the mighty deeds the regiment had performed. As Breconians they were glad to see that rewards had come thick and fast to men of the battalion, but even these did not fully represent the honourable and gallant service the regiment had rendered to their King and country during the war. (Cheers). It was his pleasure to welcome them back to Brecon, and he hoped with Colonel Taylor's permission they would stay there long enough to realise what the people of Brecon had in store for them in the way of welcome. He hoped, with the Corporation, to have the pleasure of meeting them at dinner on Saturday, and in the meantime he was quite satisfied that Brecon would make them realise to some extent the debt they owed them. (Cheers). Three cheers were then given for the regiment. THE JiATTALION'S IIEAVY LOOSES. Colonel Taylor, replying, said on behalf of the battalion he wished to thank the Mayor for his very kind words and every- body present for their splendid welcome. He assured them they all appreciated it very much indeed. The battalion left Borden in August, 1914, and had served continuously in France ever since, and lie thought he might say, not too modestly, that they had maintained the glorious traditions of the past. (Cheers). War claimed its toll of life, and the battalion had suffered its full share. In officers they had had over .50 killed and over 70 wounded. In other ranks over 1,000 had been killed and over 2,400 wounded. That was a very heavy price, and they all wanted to remember those brave men who had given their lives for their coun- try. (Hear, hear). There were five members of that cadre who actually left with the battalion in August, 1914. If they realised what life at the Front was they would agree with him that those five men had a wonderful record, and glad they were to bring them back safe and sound. (Cheers). Latterly the bat- talion had been in Belgium and before that they were in the land of the Hun. They could fully appreciate how much they enjoyed coming home-not only home, but back to Brecon, where they knew they had good friends. Brecon, concluded the gallant colonel, was the I home of the regiment and there was no place like home. (Loud cheers). The men then marched off to the barracks, through streets lined with people. THOSE WHO CAME. The following were the officers and non-commissioned officers who returned with the cadre :—Col. C. L. Taylor, D.S.O., Capt. and Adt, C. A. Baker. M.C., Capt. Shipley, Capt. Ainsworth, M.C., Lieut. Cobb, M.C., Regt. Sergt.-Major Shirley, M-C. and Croix de Guerre, C.-S.-M. Howe?, D.C.M., C.-S.-M. San- ders. M.M., Sergt. Gibbs, M.M., Sergt. Raveuhill, M M., Sergt. Knowles, and Sergt. Hayes. The five men mentioned by Colonel Taylor in his speech who went out with the regiment in 1914, and came back with the cadre, were Capt. and Adjt. Baker, Regt. Sergt.-Major Shirley, C.-S.Il. Sanders. Sergt. Gibbs and Sergt. Raven- -hill. The last four were in the memor- able stand the regiment made atGheluvelt. The Luncheon. At one o'clock on Saturday, the Mayor entertained at luncheon at the Castle Hotel all the officers and men of the 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers at the time in Brecon, the Town Council and borough officials. The company included the Mayoress (the Hon. Mrs. Parry deWinton), the Bishop of Swansea, Col. J. Going, Col. Taylor, Col. C. G. Cole-Hamilton, C.M.G., D.S.O., Col. D. W. E. Thomas, Capt. Baker, j^Capt. Graystone, Aldermen David Powell (deputy Mayor), E. A. Wright, and H. C. Rich, Councillors Miss Philip Morgan, J. W. Hedger, C. W. Best, Evan Morgan, W. Williams, and E. M. Meredith, and the borough officials. The Bishop said grace. Having given the toast of "the King," the Mayor proposed the health of the 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers. He remarked that from a medical point of view he did not think their health was in jeopardy, judging from the petormance through which they had recently gone. They could be marked down, in tribunal words, as A 1, and that after an experi- ence which few regiments had gone through. The history of the battalion was a glorious one up to August, 1914, but since then they had established a new record of almost superhuman perform- ance. Not one of them, he was sure, would have said on August 14th, 1914, that he was prepared to do such things as he had done since that day. He had the privilege the other night of seeing the names of the places where the 1st Battalion had figured. He would not attempt to state them, he could not pronounce half of them (laughter)- but if it took a Great Western composite carriage to carry the names only of the places in which they had made a mark for themselves, the company could imagine for themselves that it. was a long list, and he did not believe any other regiment could add to it. He thought after all they must have gone through for the honour and glory of the nation, no more dramatic sight had ever been credited to a regiment than the occasion upon which they took their first step on German soil, Ha was told by their colonel ,that the day was even worse than anything he ever remem- worse than anything he ever remem- j bered in Brecoushire—which was saying something—and on that occasion those I glorious old Colours, with a history no other Colours existent, perhaps, could claim, were unfurled, and their great I regiment inarched in full parade into' beaten Germany, (Applause.) Could there be auylhing finor? It was the climax to everything they had gone through. Brecon was the home of the regiment, and they could imagine the pride of the town in having them even for a very short time, and at some expense to themselves, for home and beauty were strong attractions after war service of nearly five years. He should like to express as well as he could Brecon's admiration for that great regi- ment. (Applause,) It had the proud I position of standing highest in the great roll of V.C.'s, not only won during this I war, but in previous wars, and the price I of a V.C. to-day was if anything higher than in any previous war. It was a nation of heroes that went to face the I hordes of Germany many had been left behind, but he was sure they were proud _I of the duty they died in doing. They were particularly happy in having the commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, Col. Taylor, with them. (Loud applause.) He was well known to all of them, and they had a connecting link with him in the fact that he chose his bride among the fairest of Breconshire's daughters. (Applause.) He congratulated the battalion upon their colonel and upon their colonel's wife. The toast was most cordially received. SPORTS TRIUMPHS IN ti HUMAN Y. Col. Taylor, who had a rousing recep- tion. assured the Mayor and Corporation and the town of the battalion's deep gratitude for the splendid reception that had been given them. When they broke up on the men-row, he said—the men to up on the men-row, he said—the men to be demobilised and the officers to go wherever they were sent—they would all take away with them the nicest apprecia- tion of their reception at Brecon at the end of the Great War. Looking back on the records of the regiment, they might justly feel, more than proud. (Applause). In every theatre of the war except Palestine and Italy they had their men fighting, even on ths far off coast of Archangel they had three officers and many men of the regiment. Wherever they had been they had done extremely well, particularly the 7th Battalion at Salonika, who did so well that they were, as a battalion, awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French general who was in charge "of the operations. (Loud Applause). He thought this success was due partly to the indomitable spirit of all ranks, determined that neither Bosche nor Turk should win and more so to the feeling and knowledge that although they were widely separated, they were all one in the same regiment, the 24th. (Hear, hear). It might interest those who were not with them to hear very briefly what the 1st Battalion had done since the Armistice. They belonged to the 1st Division, and they had the honour of marching behind the Cavalry, on the march to the Rhine. They went through < some of the most lovely country in the world, the Ardennes Forest but it was very bad weather at ihe time and the marches were long, ami on one occasion it was blowing a blizzard and they were wet to the skin. But- the men were simply splendid, cheering and whistling, and it made one very proud to be ivi command. At Bayeux they marched past the Divisional Commander, and were ordered to find guard for the Corps Commander. It was a very small guard, ten all ranks with one sergeant in charge. In about a fortnight orders came through from the Divisional Com- mander that that guard was to be increased to two officers and 50 men, with the proviso that they all came from the same battalion. (Applause). That guard did the regiment an enormous amount of good and when they left the Corps Commander wrote a letter which he ordered to be read out to every- body. and it was" very satisfactory. A great deal of -the credit for that guard and many other things during the war was due to a man who had been right through it with the battalion and whose keenness now was greater if anything than when.it broke out. a DUll with an extraordinary record and for whom he had always had the greatest admiration, Regimental Sergt.-Major Shirley. (Loud cheers). To finish the march—they marched altogether over 200 miles and not one man fell out. (Hear, hear). One incident on the way- was a tug-of-war with heavy opponents over a lake on which was a thin sheet of ice. He (the speaker) was about the lightest man in sl- it—(Laughter)—but they managed to pull their opponents through the lake. (Applause). Marching into Germany their final destination was Kirchheim, and when they arrived the people found sauerkraut, potatoes, and coffee, and to use a common expression, everybody mucked in." (Laughter). Personally he loathed the Bosches, dead or alive, and he did not think they liked him. They had no idea of chivalry in any way. They never thought of getting up in a tram to let a lady sit down, and he had the greatest joy on one occasion in getting a fat professor up to make room for a lady. (More laughter). At Kirchheim the battalion devoted them- selves to sports and canies, and he thought they held their own. They won the Brigade boxing, the Brigade heavy- weight tug of-war, and the Brigade light weight tug-of-war they got 13 men in out of 18 in the cross country run, they won the Brigade hockey, and were only beaten in the serni-final of the First Division hockey tournament by the ultimate winners, the 2nd Battn. Royal Sussex, who played at back that very gallant and distinguished 24th Officer, Col. Dudley Johnson, V.C. (Cheers). At Binche, coming back, they were within five miles of Mons, and it was thought an excellent opportunity of visiting the famous-battlefield of Water- loo. The men were somewhat indifferent, however, some had forgotten their history and thought it was Waterloo Junction- (Laughter)—but at any rate they all went and enjoyed the day. After Binche they went to Antwerp for three days and then they got on board and landed at Tilbury on Friday week, went to Canterbury, and now they were all back at home and were all very glad to bo there. (Cheers). Col. Taylor then called for three cheers from his men for the Mayor and Cor- poration for the magnificent way they had entertained them, and lusty cheers were given. The Mayor, in returning thanks, said y I he had the privilege on Thursday night of attending at the Regimental Mess, and saw a sight which he did not think even the 24th Regt. had enjoyed before, the bringing together of the Colours of the 1st and 2nd Battalions. He had also the pleasure of going to the Sergeants' Mess, and he thought that was the final antidote L to tribunals (Laughter). He was quite satisfied that if the young men who had attempted to crawl out of their duty had been priviliged to have an insight into 11 11 what the Sergeants' Mess really meant, the tribunals would have been on strike I for lack of anything to do." (Applause). The catering was excellently done by I Miss Mathews, the manageress of the hotel, and her staff. J
Parade to the Priory Church, Address by the. Bishop of '#1 V 'J _3!¿ Vi: Swansea. 't There V;01'u;: ¡¡,t}, iaipresi-ive scones in Brecon on Sunday morning, when there was a full parade of the Depot L'oopç, including the returned heroes, and a civic procession to the Priory Church. Col. Going, Col. Taylor, and the other officers at the Depot were in the parade, and-the old Colours of the 1st Battalion were carried unfurled by Capt. and Adjt. Baker, M.C.. and Lieut. Cobh, M.C. The battalion band played the troops to and from church, and they passed through streets thronged with people. The members of the W.A.A.C. at Brecon and the local Girl Guides also paraded. The civic procession included the Mayor (Mr W. F. Parry deWinton), the Deoutv Mavov Id. David Powell), Drs. Rees and Thomas. Mr 3* F. W. Harries (Clerk of the Peace for Brecon- shire), Col. D. W. E. Thomas, Mr J. C. B. Morris and Mr T. E. Trew (representing the borough magistrates), Aldermen T. Williams. E. A. Wright and H C. Rich. Councillors Miss Philip Morgan, J. W. Hedger, C. W. Best, E. M. Meredith, Evan Morgan, G. T. Jones. J. J. Williams and W. Morgan, Mr G. Hyatt Williams (Town Clerk), and other borough officials, the Fire Brigade and a number of Police. There was a very large congregation in the Church, and the service was a most inspiring one. The Rev. A. G. Picton. M.C., intoned the prayers, and the Bishop of Swansea read the lessons and gave the address. The hymns sung were O God our help in ages past, Through all the changing scenes of life," and Praise my soul the King of Heaven," and after the Blessing came the National Anthem. Basing his remarks on the second verse of the 107th Psalm, Let them give thanks whom the Lord hath redeemed and delivered from the hand of the enemy," the Bishop said those words summed up the meaning of that great gathering within those sacred walls. And on such an occasion surely the glorious Priory Church was its own messenger. As they came in at the doors there came, did there not ? to each one of them the message of the building, with all its as- sociations, sanctified by centuries of prayer, consecrated by the memory of those whose names were upon its walls. Yet they would miss part of their pur- pose that day unless they reminded themselves of the two-fold object the}r had in view. They were there to say a plain word of welcome to those who, out of extraordinary perils, had come back to them. It was difficult to believe that any individuals had survived that which had befallen those they welcomed since August, 1914. Amongst the number were some four or five who had gone J through the whole of the experience and a task seemingly almost beyond human strength and endurance, and those they specially welcomed with thanksgiving. a -v They were there because they desired, as the presence of the Mayor and Cor- poration. aud the great gathering of citizens testified, to claim their share in the word of welcome that the holy Priory was saying to those returned troops. Then they could not let an occassioi.- like that pass without reminding themselves of the debt they o.ved for what those present and millions beside had wrought for them. They recognised that those whom they welcomed were there as representatives of a far greater number who bore their share in the campaign, as part of the regiment specially identified with Brecon and the Priory Church. Some of the great number rested in France or Flanders. Oa Fa me's eternal camping ground Their silent tents are spread, And Glory walks with solemn round J^iie bivouac of the dead. And yet of those who had lost their loved ones there was scarcely one, lie took it, who would desire to take back that blood that was on the cross of the bresrplate of our country. And others had come home in earlier days invalided and worn out by. the struggle all these they desired to specially bear in their minds with tluuksgiving, Because of those who had come and of those others who came not with them, they were conscious of the greatness of their debt. Particularly in the case of the battalion that had come back in these last days they had followed as far as they were able the greatness of the achievements that had been wrought. He would re- mind the congregation of one incident wherein the battalion played its most conspicuous pare in the last five years, and he mentioned it because the testi- mony to it came from an altogether i independent source. A Jllan who set out to write the war history of the Worcester licuiment came to what he thought tJ be its most conspicuous achievement Tend, as he frankly acknow- ledged, by accident he discovered that the I i y achievement of his own county regiment could never have been there to place on record had it not been for the dogged determination with which the 1st Batt. South Wales Borderers maintained the line on that :3ht October, and so gave the Worcester Regiment the opportunity of winning its glory. The story of Gheluvelt, as it concerned the Worcester Regiment, would never have been written had not the 1st South Wales Borderers, in that critical hour, on that turning day as it proved to be in that stage of the campaign, maintained the line and made possftle the saving of the Channel ports and the arresting of the advance of the 11 enemy. And so, as they traced in those early months the critical operations of not only Gheluvelt but of many another day, as they marvelled how the onslaught was resisted, how Paris and the Channel ports were saved, and how it was that they at home were kept safe frl-rii those I things that befel Belgium and many another country. thankfully before God they recorded their indebtedness to the 1st Battalion of the South Wales Bor- dereas and those ethers who formed that small force whereby for them, for their country, as they believed for God, the day was saved. In one sense, in that service past and present met together, for there they had the actual Colour that was saved at Isandhlwatia by Lieut. Melvill, the Colours which they hoped some day, when their long career of ser- ¡ vice was ended, would remain up in the Priory Church, the Colours which he was quite certain succeeding vicars and churchwardens of that parish would I cherish with the utmost reverence and I the utmost care. Past and present met there together, the Colours that spoke to them of those events to which the east window and other memorials testified, and their brothers who had come out of the tribulation of the last five years, out of the struggles and out of the suffering. When the long delayed Peace actually arrived, let them never forget to whom they owed it that the Peace was being made where it was, that there were times when it seemed so likely that the Peace might be of quite another quality. Even now the Peace might not satisfy all their desires, but if some attempt at right was being made and some attempt at repar- ation. let them remember that they owed it to the sacrifices of those who had fought on their behalf. Aud fheir life in the days they were looking forward to surely ought to be a life that was conscious of that great privilege, a life that would be stamped henceforth with the spirit of thanksgiving.
Interes.ing Ceremony at the Farrackf. I When the troops returned to the Barracks, they were formed up on the square, an I Col. Going presented medals, etc., won in the war to Regimental Sergt.- I
I THE LUNCHEON PARTY. I I hoto by 0. Jackson, Brecon. J' Col. Taylo: standing next the Mayor. •
WHAT THE BATTALION 01!) iM THE WAS. i 01 ."u 'G n. A Splendid Record of Achievement and Endurance. It would take many pages of a news- paper to fully describe the- part played by the 1st Battalion of the South Wales Borderers in the Great" War. We can only attempt to outline it, trusting to the memories of our readers to recall to them the full significance of the brilliant achievements associated with the names of the big battles and battle grounds that will be mentioned. Taking the war throughout, it is safe to say that no unit fought* better, showed more endur- ance in difficulty and disaster, or paid a bigger price for its honour's sake. Time and again the battalion had to be almost reconstituted, but whether in full strength or in remnants, it never failed to do all and more than was asked of it, and not once or twice its part was to accomplish what others had failed to achieve. Commanded by Col. Burleigh Leach, the 1st Battalion of the gallant 24th left Borden for France as part of the original British Expeditionary Force on August 11th, 1914, and remained at one point or another of the Western Front till the war was won. After concentration in France they marched through Maubeuge and Givry towards Mons and reached Peissant, near by, where they were when the Mons battle was fought. They were not actually engaged in that memorable fight, being the extreme right battalion of the British Army at the moment. After Mons they were thirteen days trekking back to Rozoy, south east of Paris. Then the Allies turned for the victory of the Marne, and in this the first line of the 24th had a most creditable part, with few casualties. Next they went to the Aisne, and it was here they had their first very severe fighting and heavy casualties, in hanging on to a bulging strip of ground on the north of the river which the Germans tried very hard to wrest from them, as its capture would mean very serious danger for the remainder of the British forces on that side of the Aisne, holding a narrow stretch of ground with the Boche in front and the river behind. Here Major Welby, Capt. Yeatman. Lieut. M. T. Johnson, Lieut. Coker, Lieut: Symonds, and Second-Lieut. Sills were. killed and other officers were wounded and there were well over 300 casualties amongst the n.c.o.'s and men. It was a heavy price to pay, but the position was saved. After a fortnight of this terrible fighting, the battalion were sent back for three days rest. SIR DOUGLAS CONOR AT C L AT IO X S. Sir Douglas Haig rode down the first morning they were out, sent for Col. Leach, and congratula-ted him on the way his command had held on to the pivotal point beyond the Aisne. Later in the day Gen. Lomas, then in command of the 1st Division of the British Army-to which the 1st S.W.B. have always been attached—paraded C Company (Major W. L. Lawrence company commander) and specially praised the officers and men for the fight they had put up on Sept. 2Gth at the Quarries, when D Co. was practically annihilated, and told them they had practically saved the position on the Aisne. When the French relieved the British troops on the Aisne, the 1st S.W.B. were transferred to Langemarck, north east of Ypres, in October, and straightaway had two days' serious fighting, losing Capt. Curvengen and Lieut. Watkins killed and several others wounded, with heavy casualties amongst rank and file. Here Capt. (now Major) Barry, the well-known Brecon golfer, received the serious leg injury which long after necessitated am- putation in this country. He was lying out 72 hours before he was found. (In passing we may observe that Capt. Barry** "carry-on" spirit, typical of all his fellows of the 24th, was illustrated in a remarkable way. Before his leg trouble got to the amputation stage he came to I el Brecon and played golf over the old course with his dragging limb iu irons and thoroughly enjoyed himself. And since then he has done good work in the Flying Corps !) GHELUVELT immortal STORY. N In October the die-hards were trans- ferred from Langemarck to the Ypres district and were at once seriously en- gaged with the Bosche in that costly battle area. On the 31st they went into action on the now famous Gheluvelt. sunken roads 900 strong, and came out with four officers and 228 men, after successfully maintaining all positions. When the Worcesters came up to relieve them, Col. Leach was confidently main- taining the ground (which barred the Germans' road to Calais) with the remnants of his own men and about 91) men of the Scots Guards. All other troops of the sector had then retired for a mile or more. It was at Gheluvelt that Col. Leach was severely wounded-he is short of some toes-and Major W. L. Continued on page 3.
Injor Shirley, Company Sergt.-Major Howes, Company Sergt.-Major Sanders, :3ergt. Gibbs, Sergt. Ravenhill, Pte. Bartlett and Pte. Addeley, pinning the decorations to their tunics. Col. Going also briefly addressed the men, bidding them good-bye. He said be would himself be shortly leaving the regiment, and if any man of the 24th ever wanted anything done lie might communicate with him. The Colours were then saluted whilst the-baiiii played the National Anthem.