KEEPING A HOLD ON THE CHILDREN. BOARD OF EDUCATION AND I GUILDS. Swan sea School Buildings Sub-Committee met on Friday, Aid. Devonald in the chair. The Swansea Co-operative Society, Ltd., made application for rooms at the Municipal Secondary Boys' and Girls' Schools for three days during Whit-week to provide luncheons to the delegates of their Congress.—Agreed to. Arising out of an application from the Danygraig After-Care Committee for use of a room at the Danygraig School for Girls' Guild meetings once a week, a letter was read from the Board of Education endorsing a communication from the Home Office in which it was pointed out that in three months of 1916, compared with the same period of the previous year, there was an increase of nearly a thousand in the number of children changed with piiriwiable offences? in 17 of the large"t centres written to. It wa? therefore deaii?.bia to co-operate with boys' and girh: organisations, brigades, and clubs by lending them the school buildings so that the children would not lose the in- struction and guidance gi ven them at school. Mr. Parker remarked that Swansea was well advanced in this respect and that in Mr. Wukefield thev had one of the best juvenile employment officers in the king- dom. I The application was granted.
ENTANGLED IN SPINDLE. I I Yelindre Labourer's Shocking I Injuries. I Swansea County Coroner has been notified of the death of James Richards, 76, a labourer, of Ffynonlle-frith Farm, Veiindre, who became entangled in the spindle of a water wheel driving a grind- ing mill, and sustained fractures of the skull, both arms and legs, death being instantaneous.
MISSING SHIRTS AT SWANSEA. Frederick Charles Diment. porter, was renjanded at Swansea Police Court on Fri- dav, on the application of Supt. Roberts, charged with the' theft of three Welsh flan- nel shirts, valued at 12s., from the goods- shed at Victoria Station, en December 28, being the property of the L. and N.W. R. Co.—Defendant was remanded till Thurs- day.
mumm MGST FOUL LATEST "U" BOAT ATROCITY. I"AERE PROTESTS NOW UNAVAILING." The Secretary of the Admiralty on Friday night made the following announcement rei garding the sinking of thu steamer \V tI minster by a German submarine, and thf shelling of the crew in boats — "The degree of savagery which the Gen mans have attained in their submarine policy of sinking merchant ships at sighi would appear to have reached its climai in the sinking of the British steamer West4 minster, proceeding in ballast from Torrf Annunziata to Port Said. On Decembei j.6 this vessel wrs atturkod by II. Gerrnail submarine without warnuig. when 18Q miI from the nearest land, and sUuck by twq torpedoes in quick succession, which killed four men. She sank in four minutes, "This ruthless disregard of the rules ol international Jaw was foili-)wprl bv a I Deliberate attempt to murder the survivors. The officers and crew, whilff effecting their escape from the sinking ship in boats, weie shelled by the submarine a- a range of 3,000 yards. The master ail-i chief engineer were killed outright and theii boat sunk. The second and third ell" gineers and three of the crew were not picked up, and are presumed to have beeit drowned. "Great Britain, in common with other civilised natidns, regards the sinking with- out warning of merchant ships with detesta- tioii, but iii of the avowed policy of the German Government, and their refusal to consider the protests of neutrals, it is re- coenised that n-, Mere protests are unavailing. 1-1 1 J he captain ot the Cerman submarine rnu.st, however, have satisfied himself as to the effectiveness of his two torpedoes, and yet proceeded to carry out in cold blood an act of murder which could not possibly be justified by any urgency of war, and can only be regarded in the eyes of the world as a further proof of the degradation of German* honour.
THEIR WOMEN-FOLK | MOTHERS AND WlVESf OF FIGHTERS. ¡ SWANSEA TIPPERARY CLUB ANNUAL." in connection with the" Tipperary Club" (under the supervision of the Rev. and Mrs. Watkhi WiHi?ms and held at the Centjgl Hal!, 8'wan?ea) a very enjoy.tNe Chn?tnS5 tea Mid prize distribution took place on Thursday afternoon for the boneiit of thf wives of om' brave sailors and -oldier, who meet da.y Efter day' at the club for frif'-ndYI\ t b t y (intercourse and mutual help. During th? reason a great deal of interest has been centred in the preparation ot competitions in domestic subjects. I The National Anthem was sung, and Mrs. Watkin Williams said letters of apology had been recei, 'd from Lady Lyons, Lady and General Hills-Johnee, Colonel and Mrs. J-' R. Wright, Lady Llewelyn, Miss Yivia';i»! Miss Lindsay, Mr. and Mrs. A. F. Eden, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Eden, and others. In the absence of Lady Lyons, who was' '1\ uciable to fulfil her engagement, Mvs. Morgan! B. Williams presided, and Mr. Joseph I-Ial (who had also given many of the prizes) die-I tributed them. For competition in singing, "Till the Boya Come Home," there were a dozen entries.) Mrs. Jones won the first pr lze, Lewi* second, and Mrs. Morgan the third. At the outset the "Chairman introduced! Miss Faithful (organising secretary of thot League. London). who a ddressed the wives a behalf of Lady Jeiiicce and Lnly French ». ("DO take mu? iat?rest in the Tipper?y t. .Ctubs). ??.??. f 1 The speaker said it afforded her yery; freat pleasure to hear of the excellent worki being done in connection with the club. Out of 124 clubs in the United Kingdom she had, I visited 118, and she could testify to the boont they had proved. She was in entire sjm-j pathy with the competition?, and in addition' to their prizes she would have pleasure in j forwarding the suocessful competitors League certificates. The object of the clubs was to make better homes and wives, and the moral simple the club the better, to her mind. Mr. Joseph Hall then proceeded to distri-li bute the prices, and had a cheery smile and remarks for all the winners. i Mrs. Horspool having adjudged the I most comfortably-dressed baby, prizea were awarded :-lst. Mrs. Edwards: 2nd, ) Mrs. Lewis. For cooking, Mrs. Davies and Mrs. Westbury were awarded 1st and | 2nd prizA. For the best article made j from material costing not more than 6d. Mrs. Westbury was successful. For best; darned stockings Mrs. Morgan was awarded 1st prize; Mrs. Lewis, 2nd, and Mrs. Powell 3rd. For the best converted garment Mrs. Pugh was the winner. Mrs. Watkin Williams moved a vote of j thanks to Mr. Joseph Hail for Ins gener- I osity and for distributing the prizes, i which wa.s seconded by Miss Llewelyn. Rev. W. Williams moved than ?s Mrs. M. B. Williams for presiding, which! was seconded by Mrs. Dan Jones. After the singing of the Doxology an appetising tea was partaken of by about 400 women, and in the evening an enjoy- able concert was given at the Central Hall.
AT FISH AND CHIP SHOP. Clydach Boy Who Stole Purse. At Pontardawe Police Court on Friday, Thomas Thomas (14), of Craigcefnparc, Cly-j dach, was charged with stealing a purse oon- taining 5s. 9d. from Beatrice Maxwell, of Sunny Bank, Clydaeh, on. December 2nd. It was alleged that the purse was taken from the pocket of prosecutrix whilst she was being served with fish and chips at a shop in Clydaeh. When accused of t.he t the defendant said "I did take it. I spent most of the money in an ice cream shop on the Clown and Ball machines. Defendant and his mother were bound over in the sum of E5 for 12 months.
E.B. 'S CI FT TO NEATH WAR E.B.'S" CIFT TO NEATH WAR- HOSPITALS. Mr. and Mrs. E. Evans Bevan, of I Neath, have generously presented an ambulance car to the Neath Division of the Red Cross Society for the duration of the war, for the conveyance of wounded to and from the Military and Red Cross hos- pitals at Neath. The ambulance will also I be used in cases of accident at Mr. Bevan's collieries in tfie Dulais Valley. ) This is a most acceptable gift, and should prove a great benefit to tho district.
REFUSAL TO DRILL ?tTH 1 VOLUNTEERS. Because he would not drill with the j Volunteers as ordered to do by the local Tribunal, William Stamforth (29), milk 1 dealer, of Sheffield, had his exemption certificate withdrawn by the South Y.rk- shire Appeal Tribunal. Stamforth stated that he was too busy to drill. ■— J t
19sIBftgiWSj k alMpB If you enclose one penny stamp to Mr. Agar; Kaputine, Ltd., Manchester you will receive by return FREE SAMPLES of KAPUTINE for HEADACHE or NEURALGIA, which all sufferers say are worth a CROWN" each i
"VICTORY BEYOND BOUBI." SOMME BATTLES SUMMED-UP. Sir Douglas Haig's Stirring Dispatch. General Sir Douglas Haig's eagerly- awaited dispatch occupies sixteen pages cf letterpress in a supplement issued to the London Gazette on Friday night. Perhaps the most interesting matter which Sir Douglas discusses is that of our future prospects. "Fpon this he is most heartening. The general writes:— The enemy's power has not yet been t ■ ■ broken, nor is it yet possible to form an estimate of the time the war may last before the objects for which the allies are fighting have been attained. But the Somme battle has placed beyond doubt the ability of the allies to gain these objects. The Cerman Army is the mainstay of the Central Powers, and a full half of that Army, despite all the advantages of the defensive, sup- ported by the strongest fortifications, suffered defeat on the Somme this year. Neither victors nor the vanquir-od will forget this; and, though bad weather has given the enemy a respite, there will undoubtedly be many thousands in his ranks who will begin the new cam- paign with little confidence in their ability to resist our assaults or to over- come our defence." The General Commanding-in-Chief pays this tribute to Kitchener's men's valour: Our new armies entered the battle with the determination to win and with confidence in their power to do so. They have proved to themselves, to the enemy, and to the world that this confidence was justified, and in the fierce struggle they, have been through they hthe learned many valuable lessons which will help them in the future." The dispatch takes us back to May 19 last, the day we last heard from General Haig in such long detail. Epitomised, the opening features of the communica- tion are as follows:- Planning the Offensive. The principle of an offensive campaign during the summer of 1916 had already been decided on by all the Allies. The various possible alternatives on the Western front had been studied and discussed by General ioffre and the British Commander-in-Chief. The date on which the attack should begin was dependent on many doubtful factors, a flual decision being deferred until the general situation became clearer. General Haig desired to postpone his at- tack as long as possible, as the British armies were growing in numbers and the supply of munitions was steadily increas- ing. Moreover, a very large proportion of the officers and men under his command were still far from being fully trained. By the end of May the ptessute of the enemy on the Italian front had assumed such serious proportions that the Russian cam- paign was opened early in June, and the brilliant successes gained by our Allies against the Austrians at once caused a move- ment of German troops from the Western to the Eastern front. This, however, did not lessen the pressure on Verdun. The heroic defence of our French Allies had already gained many weeks of inestimable value, and had caused the enemy very heavy losses; but the strain continued to. increase. Battling with the Elements. In view, therefore, of the situation in the various theatres of war, it was eventually agreed between General Joffre and myself (continues General Haig) that the combined French and British offensive should not be postponed beyond the end of June. The object of that offensive was threefold (i.) To relieve the pressure tn Ver- dun. (ii.) To assist our Allies tn the other theatres of war by stopping any further transfer of German troops from the Western front. (iiI.) To wear down the strength of V the forces opposed to us. The general proceeds to enumerate the work involved, and says that, in order to ensure an adequate water supply to the troops as they advanced, many wells and borings had to be sunk and over 120 miles of water mains laid down. The weather, on the whole, was bad, and the local accom- modation totally insufficient for housing the troops employed. The very heavy strain on the troops was borne by them with a cheer- fulness beyond all praise." General Haig next deals with the contour of the coantry over which the attack was to be carried out. During nearly two years' preparation the enemy had spared no pains to render the defences impregnable. The numerous woods and villages in and between their systems of defence had been turned into veritable fortresses. These various systems of. defence formed, in short, not merely a series of successive lines, but one composite system of enormous depth and etrensrth. Surprise for the Enemy. "The first phase," says General Haig, opened with the attack of July 1, the success of which evidently came as a &ur- prise to the enemy and caused conidera.ble confusion and disorganisation in his ranks. The advantages gained on that date and de- veloped during the first half of July may be regarded as having been rounded off by the operations of July 14 and three following days, -which gave us possession of the southern crest of the main plateau between Delville Wood and Bazentin-le-Petit. We then entered upon a contest lasting for many weeks, during which the enemy, I having found his strongest defences unavail- ing, and now fully alive to his danger, put forth his utmost efforts to keep his hold on the main ridge. This stage of the battle con- I rtituted a prolonged and severe struggle for mastery bet,ween the contending armies, in which, although progress was slow and difficult, the confidence of our troops in -their abilitv to win was never shaken. Tbedr Tenacity and determinaton f proved more than equal to their task, and by the first n-eek in September they had wtablished a fighting superiority that has left its mark on the enemy, of which pœea- son of the ridge was merely the viaible j! otoo f. Callant Work by the French. "The way was then opened for the third phase, in which our advance was: poshed do.vp the forward slopes of the ridge and further extended on both lfanks' nntil, from Morval to Thiepval, the whole! plateau and a good deal of ground beyond: were in our possession. Meanwhile our I gallant allies, in addition to great suo-: cesses south of the Somme. had pushed their advance, against equally determined opposition and under most difficult tacti- sal conditions, up the long slopes on our immediate right, and were now preparing bo drive the enemy from the summit of. the narrow and difficult portion of the main ridge which lies between the Combles Valley and the River Tortille, a rtream flowing from the north into the Scmme just below Peronne." Most of us are familiar with the pro- cess of subsequent events, and recital i thereof would occupy more space than is available; but, summing up the results of the fighting of the first ve days on a front of over six miles from the Brique- terie to La Boisselle, General Haig says that our troops had swept over the whole of the enemy's first and strongest lines of defence, which he had done his utmost to render impregnable. They had driven him back over a distance of more than a mile, and had Carried four elaborately fortified villages. Ihe number of prisoners passed back at the close of July o had already reached the I toal of 94 officers and 5,724 other ranks. The Welsh and Mametz Wuod. We next come to the Battle of the Woods," and Welshmen, in view of the fact that their kith and kin played such an im- portant part in the final capture of Mametz Woods, as publicly declared by Mr. Lloyd George, will naturaily feel disappointed at the brief reference made to the exploit in the dispatch by General Haig. Troops had been heavily engaged in hard and continuous fighting tor five days, and it was during a special artillery preparation, intended as a relief to exhausted troops, that local operations were continued, in spite of much unfavourable weather. General Haig says The attack on Con talmaison and Mametz Wood was undertaken on the 7th of July, and after three days' obstinate fighting, in the course of which the enemy delivered several powerful counter-attacks, the village and the whole of the wood, except its northern border, were finally secured." General Haig also refers to the struggle for Tyrones Wood, which changed hands several times, and its final capture on July 13, adding: "Meanwhile Mametz Wood had been entirely cleared of the enemy, and, with Trones Woods also practically in our possession, we were in a. position to undertake an assault upon the enemy's second system of defences." We are then carried on to the night at- tack of July 14, in regard to which General Haig makes interesting observations. "I cannot speak too highly," he says, "of the skill, daring, endurance, and deter- mination of which these results had been achieved. Great credit is due to Sir Henry Rawlinson for the thoroughness and care with which this difficult undertaking was planned, while the advance and deployment made by night without confusion and the complete success of the subsequent attack constitute a striking tribute to the discip- line and spirit of the troops engaged, as well as to the powers of leadership and organisation of their commanders and staff. I The Captures. During these operations and their deve- lopment on the 15th a number of enemy guns ¡ were taken, making our total captures since July 1 eight heavy howitzers, four heavy guns, 42 field and light guns and field howit- ) rers, 30 trench mortars, and 52 machine- guns. Vei-y considerable losses had been in- flicted on the enemy, and the prisoners cap- tured amounted to over 2,000, bringing the I total since July 1 to over 10.000." (Later operations brought the total to 17,000.) "There was strong evidence that the enemy forces engaged on the battle front had been severely shaken by the repeated successes gained by ourselves and our Allies; but the great strength and depth of his de- faocee had secured for him sufficient time to ,brl*llg.up fresh -troops, and he had still manv powerful fortifications, both trenches, vil- i luges, and woods, to which he (Could cling in lour front and on our flanks." I The General adds: "The preparations made for our assault on July 1 had Wn long and elaborate: but though the enem, knew that an attack was coming, it would seem that he considered the troops already on the spot, secure in their apparently impregnable defences, would suffice to deal with it. The success of that assault, combined with the ¡'igOUr and determination with which our troops pressed their advantage, and followed by the successful night attack of July 14, all served to awaken him to a fuller realisation of his danger. The great depth of his sys- tem of fortification, to which reference has been made, gave him time to re-organise his defeated troops and to hurry up numerous fresh divisions and more guns. Yet, in spite of this, he was still pushed back, steadily and continuously. Trench after trench and strong point after strong point were wrested from him. The great majority of his fre- quent ocunter-attacks failed completely, with heavy loss; while the few that achieved temporary local success purchased it dearly, and were soon thrown back from the ground j they had for the moment regained. The Tanks." The first reference to "Tanks" is here made: "At 6.20 a.m. on September 15 the infan- try assault commenced, and at the same moment the bombardment became intense. Our new heavily-armoured cars, known as Tanks, now brought into action for the fr-st time. successfully co-operated with the in- fantry, and, coming as a. surprise to the enemy rank and file, gave valuable help in breaking down their resistance. The ad- vance met with immediate success on almost the whole of the front attacked. At 8.40 a.m. tanks were seen to be entering Flers, followed by large numbers of troops. "The result of the fighting on this and following days was a gain more consider- able than any which had attended cur arms in the course of a single operation since the commencement of the offensive. In the course of one day's fighting we had broken through two of the enemy's main defensive systems, and had advanced on a front of over six miles to an avemge depth of a mile. In the course of this advance we had taken three large villages, each powerfully or- ganised for prolonged resistance. Two of these villages bad been carried by assault with short preparation in the course of a few hours' fighting. All this had been ac- complished with a small number of casual- ties in comparison with the troops employed, and in spite of the fact that, as was after- wards discovered, the attack did not come 1 as a complete surprise to the enemv. "The total number of prisoners taken bv us in these operations since their commence- ment on the evening of September 14 amounted at this date to over 4,000, includ- ing 127 ofifcers." General Haig then takes us right down to the recent activities on the Ancre Throughout the period dealt with ip the dispatch the role of the other armies hold- ing our defensive line from the northern limits of the battle front to beyond Ypres was necessarily a seoondhrv one, but their task was neither light nor unimportant. Some idea of the thoroughness with which their duties were performed can be gathered from the fact that in the period of four and a half months from Julv 1 some 380 raids were carried out, in the course of which the e-nemy-miftored many casualties and some hundreds ol prisoners were taken by us. The largest of these operations was undertaken on Julv 19 in the neighbourhood of Armentieres. Our troops penetrated deeply into the enemy's defence?, doing much damage to his works a.nd inflicting severe losses upon him." Summarising the whole of the operations, General Haig says :— "The three main objects with which we had commenced our offensive in Julv had already been achieved at the date when this account closes, in spite of the fact that the heavy autumn rains had prevented full advantage being taken of the favourable situation created by our advance, at a time when we had good grounds for hoping to achieve yet more important successes. Verdun had been relieved; the main German forces had been held on the Western front, and tho enemy's strength had been very consideti"Y worn down, 1 I Any- one of these three results is in itself sufficient- to justify the Somme battle. The attainment of all three of them affords ample compensation for the splendid efforts of our troops and for the sacrifices made by ourselves and our Allies. They have brought us a long step forward to- wards the final victory of the Allied cause. The desperate struggle for the posses- sion of Verdun had invested that place with a moral and .political importance out of all proportion to its military value. Its fall would undoubtedly have been proclaimed as a great victory for our enemies, and would have shaken the faith of many in our ulti- mate success. The failure of the enemy to capture it, despite great efforts and very heavy losses, was a severe blow to his pres- tige, especially in view of the confidence he had openly expressed as to the results of the struggle. Information obtained both during the progress of the Somme battle and since the suspension of active operations has fully established the effect of our offensive in keeping the enemy's main forces tied to the Western front. In November the strength of the enemy in the Western theatre of war was greater than in July, notwithstanding the abandonment of his oifensive at Verdun. It is justifiable to conclude that t.he Somme offensive Not only relieved Verdun, but held large forces which would other- wise have been employed against our Allies in the East. "The third great object of the Allied operations on the Somme was the yv earing down of the enemy's powers of resistance. Any statement of the extent to which this has been attained must depend in some degree on estimates. There is, nevertheless, sufficient evidence to place it beyond doubt that the enemy's Jesses in men and material have been very considerably higher than those of the Allies, while morally the balance of advantage on our side is still greater, a.nd during the period under review n, steady deterioration took place in the moral of large number?; of the enemy's troops. As our advance, progressed four-fifths of the totail number of divisions engaged on the Western front were thrown one after another into the Somme battle, some of them twite. and some three times: and towards the end of the operations, when the weather unfortunately broke, there can be no doubt that his power of resistance had been very seriously diminished. Tiie Total number of prisoners taken by u? in the Somme oattle between July 1 and November 18 is just over 38,000, mcludjng over 800 officers. During the M.me penod we captured 29 heavy guns, 96 field guns and field howitzern. 1,% trench mortars, and 514 machine-guns. "So far as th ese results are due to the aciaon of the British forces, they have been attained by troops the vast majority of whom had been raised and trained during the war. We were compelled either to Use hastily-trained* and inexperienced officers and men or else to defer the offensive until we had trained them. In this latter case we should have failed our Allies. That these troops should have accomplished so much under such conditions, and against an army and a nation whoserhief concern for so many years has been preparation, for war, con- stitutes a feat of Svhich the history of cur nation records no equal. The difficulties and hardships cheerfully overcome, an d the en- durarce, detennination, and invincible courage shown in meeting them, can hardly be imagined by those who have not had personal experience of the battle, even though they have themselves seen something of war. THE TRIUMPH OF AN EMPIRE. I WHY HAIG DOES NOT I PARTICULARISE. General Haig excuses himself for not particularising the units, brigades, or divisions especially connected with the different event.s described by sayi.ng:— "It would. not be possible to do so without giving, useful information to the w I th alit givll?t niendat1 'ors for individual rewards have been forwarded separately, and in due course full details will be made known. Meanwhile, it must suiffce to say that troops from every part of the British Isles and from every Dominion and quarter of the Einpire, whether Regulars, Territorials, or men of the New Armies, have borne a share in the battle of the Somme. While some have been more for- tunate than others in opportunities for distinction, all have done their' duty nobly." Concluding, the general officer com- manding, in paying tribute to the various branches of the army, says:— Among the long roll of victories borne on the colours of our regiments there has never been a higher test of the endurance and resolution of our infantry. They have shown themselves worthy of the highest traditions of our race and of the proud records of former wars. "Against such defences as we Tiad to assault—far more formidable in many respects than those of the most famous fortresses in history—infantry would have been powerless without thoroughly effi- cier.t artillery preparation and support. The work of our artillery was wholly ad- mirable, though the strain on the per- sonnel was enormous. It improved with experience until in the latter assaults it annroached perfection." I Our Airmen. In praising the Royal Flying Corps upon their great skill and daring, the general officer commanding says: I desire to point out, however, that the maintenance of mastery in the air, which is essential, entails a constant and liberal supply of the most up-to-date machines, without which even the most skilful pilots cannot succeed. The machine-gun Corps, though com- paratively recently formed, has done very valuable work, and will increase in im- portance. The part played by the new armoured cars—known as tanks '—in some of the later fights has been brought to notice by me already in my daily reports. These cars proved of great value on various occasions, and the personnel in charge of them performed many deeds of remark- able valour. The employment by the enemy of gas and of liquid flame as weapons of offence compelled us not only to discover ways to protect our troops from their effects, but also to devise means to make use of the same instruments of destruction. Great fertility of invention has been shown, and very great credit is due to the special personnel employed for the rapidity and success with which these new arms have been developed and perfected, and for the very great devotion to duty they have dis- p laved in a difficult and dangerous service. "Since we have been compelled, in self- defence, to use similar methods, it is satis- factory to be able to record, on the evidence of prisoners, of documents captured, and of our own observation, that the enemy has suffered heavy casualties from our gas at- tacks, while the means of protection adopted by us have proved thoroughly effective." After recording the services of other branches of the Army and "the obligation of the Army to the Navy for the unfailing suc- cess" of transport of men and material, Sir Douglas says D "I al desire to record the obligation of the Army in the Field to the various authori- ties at home, and to the workers under them —women as well as men—by whose efforts and self-sacrifice all our requirements were met. Without the vast quantities of muni- tions and stores of all sorts provided, and without the drafts of men sent to replace wastage, the efforts of our troops could not have been maintained." High Praise for General, 4-ieneral iiaig, reiernn g to uenerais Six Henry Rawlinson and, SIr Hubert Gough, commanding respectively the Fourth and Fifth Armies, who for five months controlled tha.operations of very large forces in one of the greatest, if not absolutely the greatest struggle that has ever taken place, says: — I "It is impossible to speak too highly of the great qualities displayed by these com. 1 manders throughout the battle. Their thorough knowledge of the profession and their cool and sound judgment, tact, and de-; termination proved fully equal to every call on them. They entirely justified their selec- j1 tion for such responsible commands, "VERY MUCH TO BLAME." i ;SWANSEA JURY'S CEN- SURE OF SHOTSMAN. SEQUEL TO LOCAL COLLIERY FATALITY. Swansea Borough Coroner (Mr. J. C. Mor- ris) held an inquiry on Thursday into the circumstances surrounding the death of Henry Da vies (30), o? Garngeno1. Tvcroes, Pantyffynon, who died at the hospital on Tuesday from injuries received us a result of an accident whilst shot-firing at the W ernas Colliery. As three of the witnesses spoke only Welsh an interpreter had to be secured. David Davies (brother) who also sustained an injury at the same time, said he was working with his brother on December 19th as a collier. The shot-firer was a man of eight or nine years' experience. The first shot was fired and everything was all right, the shot-firer following his instructions in every, detail. He then asked witness if he would connect thp cable to the second shot, and witness assented, knowing, however, that it was wrong to do so. He did it out of kindness and consideration for the age of the shot-firer, John Thorns. Juet as Davies was about to do as iw was asked by Thomas, his brother arrived on the soene and was acquainted with Tho- request and proceeded to do wha witness was asked to do. the latter n the mean- while performing some t-p. in connection with the work. Whilst 'at i ie job the shot went off, and witness, who had his back to the shot, was struck at the rear of his head, and his brother, who had his face I to the snot and in closer proximity to it, sustained more severe injuries to his head and body. Thomas was asked by witness, 1,1-h,- did you do this' and the former repLed. "Why did you let the man (re-i ferring to a labourer who had gone to where' they were ) "come up. I thought it was You." By Air. Owen (Inspector of Mines) Wit- ness had performed this operation for the same ahotsman before, when there were two, s hots. He knew he was violating the law, and did it out of consideration for «John Thorna?. Did you know that the smoke from the shot affected the shotsman?—No. What was the second shot charged with? -Twelve plugs of Samsonite. Dr. Hubert Thomas (Swansea Hospital)) said deceased was admitted on the 19th inst., at 6.45 p.m., with injuries to the arm, body and face. His sight was also affected., He died from injuries received. i Owen Thomas, 9. Viliiers-road, Amman- ford, labourer, spoke to being in the com- pany of the Brothers Davies. and corrob- orated David Davies' evidence, and added that he told John Thomas he had fired, the latter replying that he thought he (Owen Thomas) was Davies. After the customary warning that he need ,not answer any questions which he con- sidered would incriminate him, the shots- man, J olm Thom, Hendre, was called and said that the reason why he aaked David Davie, to do what he himself should have done was because he considered Davies to be a man capable of being entrusted with the work. He (Thomas) also Sent a message to those below I to remain there until the second shot wa.s over in a "muck hoi A," which he considered to be a perfectly saf place, This instruc- tion he gave to the fireman and Henry Davies. He expected Davies to have re- mained there instead of coming out. Wit- ness re-affirmed David Davies' statement as to its being a case of mistaken identity as to deceased and Owen Thomas. Had not Henry Davi-:s came out the accident would not have occurred. By Mr. Owen: You gave definite instruc- tions for everyone to get to a place of safetv? —Yes Do you know thztt ycu should yourself see .that everyone should be in a place of. safety? J- Have yoti read the' rules pertaining to the duties of a shotsma n?-I can't sav I've read •" It was yoar duty to examine the I place before anyone went near it. Did you do so on this occasion?—No. Why did you contravene the rules in ask- ing Davies to do what was your work ?—I can't explain that iiov, sir. Did vcu follow the usual custom in Snn-utlng out any warning that you were fuing -N Õ. Is it your usual custom to allow colliers I to attach the cahle ?--No. Have you been constantly warned about allowing colliers to meddle with the shot- firing apparatus ?- Y eti., The Coroner, summing up, said the cause of dearth was clear, If they believed the evidence of the last witness, he thought that in sending a warning the shotsman probably j thought he had a<kquately filled the r?- quirements of the law. He (the cormier) did not believe any of them would be so conscientious as to fulfil the rules to the letter. It was quite wrong for John Thomas to send down Davies to do the coupling, but he dared say it was a simple operation, and Davies went as soon as asked. This was The most serious part of it. If he had gone himself he would have seen them clear. It was for the jury! to decide whether the neglect of duty of the shotsman was sufficiently incriminat- j ing to justify their bringing in a verdict of 1 manslaughter or whether the neglect was not so culpable as to warrant this. The manager remarked that this was the first accident of its kind in the colliery for: thirty years. It was a great pity John 1 Thomas did not go down himself. After a retirement the jury brought in a verdict of "Death according to medical evi- dence, the neglect on John Thomas' part not being sufficient to justify manslaughter." The Coroner, addressing Thomas, an elderly man of 61. said undoubtedlv he was Very, very much to blame, and much could be traced to his neglect. The jury hoped that Thomas would take due warning from this in future. Thomas I will.
SWANSEA WEEK-END FOOD PRICES. I Food prices at Swansea this week-end are much about the same as last week. Eggs j are 2s. per 100 cheaper, and it is expected they will be sold retail at 3d. each next week- end. Green stuffs are scarce. Potatoes are still 71bA. for Is., with the likelihood of a further rise in the near future. Brussel i spr&ute are from 3&. to 4s. a pot dearer. The i meat trade is firm, with the last upward II move in prices fully maintained.
I ABRAVOWS GOOD RECORD. Only one case of drunkenness over the I Christmas holidays came before the Aber- avon Borough Police Court on Thursday when Thomas Williams, labourer, Water- I street, was charged with drunken and dis- or derly conduct. He was described as an I old offender and fined 20s.
THE KAISER'S ALLIES. Six soldiers are under medical treat-1 ment for injuries received in a conflict j between Sinn Feiners and the military at i Cork on Christmas night. All are suffer-I ing from hurts from stones.
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THE LAND FOR THE PEOPLE." ■■ ■ — I ALLOTMENTS AT I SWANSEA. OPERATIONS TO START AT ONCE. The first meeting of the newly formed Swansea, Corporation Allotments Commit- tee was held on Friday. Mr. J. H. Lee was appointed chairman and Mr. D. Richards (an allotment holder) vice-chair- man. Messrs. W. James (auctioneer), A. K. Drummond, J. Harris and William Bevan (Tregwyndd) were co-opted members. Rev. — Stewart (Sketty), Messrs. H. Stanley Cook, and A. Perkins attended with regard to the position at Sketty. Mr. Stanley Oook said they thought if it were possible to start a Sketty Society they would be prepared to assist in every way. They had gone round the Sketty district and they found a number that would answer the purpose. The great thing was to find land easily accessible it appeared to them that it would have been better if the Govern- ment had arranged to have a fll¡.t rate of rent throughout the country. Now it was left to the landowners to make arrange- ments with their tenants and the effect of this would be the rent in some cases might be prohibitive. He saw the other day a deed where a piece of land was let at the* rate ol 30s. a year and the tenant had to fence it. He calculated it would cost that man alto- gether about 5s. a week, Which would be prohibitive, he thought. His idea was that no landlord should make money out of it; the land would otherwise be idle and it would be improved. The tenure should I at least be three or four years-a sug- gested three months either way was not at all sufficient. Then there was the question of seeds: he believed they were rising in price, and was told that seed potatoes were now about 30s. a hundred- weight. The deputation came to seek the best way to organising their local efforts. Rev. Stewart sa.id the first essential was to get the land at a certain price. He thought the Sketty committee shou deal direct for all their local land, and then they could re-iet to the tenants. No one should have a. plot unless they culti- ) vated their garden first. The Chairman said the idea was to get the land as cheap as possible—free of rent. if possible. Mr. Stanley Cook Yes, we should like that, but can the land be actually got rent free. I Mr. W. H. Edwards' Generosity. The Borough Estate Agent said there was no difficulty about the land. The Board of Agriculture and Fisheries had handed over their powers to the. local Councils; land not rated to the poor rat-e was vacant under the Order, and it could be taken without any rent and could be handed over to any society who would undertake to cultivate it. He received a letter from Mr. W. H. Edwards. Hill House, off-ering his property (fronting Hill House) "on very favourable terms." Rent is no consideration, itdied the Estate Agent. with Mr. Edwards. Gener- ally he thought land could be got in and around the borough at between P,2 and £3 per a-ere. At Coedsaeson there were plots available at once. As regards a suggestion of three months' notice either way, that would not hold good in Ia'w' under the parti- crala.r circumstances, and the period of tenure would be either a, twelve month or the duration "f the war. He thought they might go on the lines of the Vacant Land Cultivation Society already they had implements in the Guildhall Yard. Swansea. "The Mayor that day had stated the Town Council- were anxious to help any cultivation society or any,allotment holder in every possible way. ft; W. Morris moved that the Sketty promoters■ form their own society (jt44 and report, to the committee at the e.arlir,t poeai-ble; ?M)m?nt. They could then .gau? better how they stood wth regard to .I- cants, etc. Mr. 0. Hemmings seconded and said they wanted to encourage every man to cultivate his own plot. Rev. W. Stewart said for Hill House land there would undoubtedly be applicants from inside and outside the borough. He took it that, as the Corporation could go outside the borough for land, ethers from outside the borough could come in. The Chairman said the great point was to get all the valuable land cultivated. The Borough Agent aid the Cor- poration would take the land land then they could delegate their powers to the societies. The Chairman thought if a man would not cultivate the land at his doors others should cultivate it who were willing. Townhill Too Far for Sketty. Mr. A. Perkins said the Sketty Rate- payers' Association wanted allotments but ) Town Hill was too 5 r away. He thought that association would have communicated with the Town Council as it was understood. The Chairman said nothing to his know- ledge had been received. The Estate Agent said the Mayor wanted the societies to be formed and the Corpora- tion would give them every assistance. Let the vicar of Sketty form his society, Mr. Cook his and Mr. Perkins his, rind so on. "You form your'society, Mr. Perkins, and we will give you Clarendon road, outside vour door, straight away. And then as regards the SkettyRatepayers' Association, directly th6y come along we can give them whn.t they want, the vicar what he wants and Mr. Cook what. he wa.nts. The great idea is to get at work at once and for the socie- ties to manage their own affairs under the direction of the Council." Rev. Mr. Stewart suggested caJling a public meeting p.t Si?ety atTaight away. He took that opportunity of thEnking Mr. W. H. Edwards for his generosity. (HeAr. hear.) A nUn1br of people were waiting to take the matter up. The Borough Estate Agent. said the Mayor was calling a meeting for Swansea at the GuilcLhhll on Thursday night. Mr. Stanley Cook s^id they had the offer of Mr. W. H. Edwards' land and they would get on with that fit once. Rev. Mr. Stewart: To-night we can ar- range. The Chairman told the deputation there was nothing to prevent a Sketty Society be- ing formed nt once. This was the unanimous view of the oom, mittee. Mr. W. J. Thompson (Eaton Grove) wrote pointing out an accessible plot on the south-western side of Eaton-crescent. The Borough Estate Agent said that land was Ii acres (the land was vacant in the eyes of the Act), and wpuld accommo- dat-e 24 applicants. Mr. Thompson (who was present) asked the cost. The Borough Estate Agent: You get holders ready and we will soon arrange j about the land; I can do that at once. We want the applicants first. The Parks Superintendent said they! could he invited immediately. Mr. C. Webb (district valuer), 130, Eaton-crescent, was present. On his behalf and three others land by the Girls' High School, Walter-road, was pointed out as being suitable. The Chairman: The plot can be culti- vated by the four gentlemen straight- away. We will arrange about the land. Asked by Mr. Webb, the Chairman said the Corporation wouid sell the lime neces- sary for the land at cost price and haulage at cost price. We want to get the thing going," added the Chairman, at once." Implements, Ploughng and Seed. As regiards the implements, ploughing, etc., this was left with the chairman, vice- chairman, and parks superintendent to arrange the be&t methods. The manure, seeds, and lime questions were then diecuseed, and it was decided to furnish same at cost price, and the Estate Agent was authorised to put applicants on certain lands straight away. The Estate Agen/t said they wanted pros- pective holders to report vacant piots adja- Cent; "whereupon inquiry this is vaca.nt" (in the legal sense) we will let it straight j away. J DEATH OF MR. JOHN ROBERTS. I ONE OF OUR FOREMOST ENGINEERS. A LOCAL COALFIELD AUTHORITY. On Saturday morning death removed frnj11 our midst one of the best known civil and mining engineers of South Wales in the per- son of Mr. John Roberts. J.P., of Gwynfryn, Eaton Grove, Swtmsea. The decaased gentle- man had been, ailing for some months past, but was out as late as Wednesday last. Sub- sequently he became, seriously ill and passed wa.y, a.s stated, from heart trouble, 1'1', A. W. Cameron was his medidil attendant. He leaves a widow and one daughter, Mis. L. L. Appleton, of Beckenham, Kent, whilst Mr. T. H. Roberts p.nd Mr. David Roberts, J.P., are brothers, and Mrs. Davies (Henriet.ta- street), and hs. G-oskar (Mount Pleasant) are sifters, and much sympathy will be felt with the iV mily in their bereavement. One of .Nature's gentlemen, affable and of a most kindly disposition, the late Mr. John Roberts was one of the examples one finds here and there of a self-educated man attain- ing a* very high position in the professional world. A Swansea boy. born 66 years ago, he received his énrJv education in the public school, and then, ,:till a boy, he. started to work on the Oystermouth Railway under his father. In this way he gleaned hi., first knowledge of engineering, and, being of a very studious turn of mind, he soon took to it as a profession. The surveying of the Lan- dore Steel Works gave him hit- first real prac- tical experience in ths work, and young Roberts, whilst engaged in thf practical de- tails during the daytime, would work out the theoretical problems far into the might. A Distinguished Mining Career. roreieemg tha possibilities of ihe tScuuh Wales coalfield he ultimately started prac- tice as a mining engineer and in this connec- tion ranked as one of t-lip. foremost in South WaJ°s. For many years he was the generiil man3.ger of the mining properties of Messrs. Cory Yeo and Company (now the Graigola Merthyr Company) and amongst other ap- pointments he was the mineral agent to the Stepney, Ashburnham, Sir John Llewelyn and Berrington estates, .ind the mineral ad- viser for Wales upon the Inland Revenue under the Mr. Lloyd George s Finance Act. His knowledge of the anthracite coalfield, in particular, was very extensive, and there was no Royal Commission on th, ooal question, or The lata Mr. Roberts. Parliamentary Bill, or important mining case in which he wtis not called as a mining ex- pert. In addition, he was called in as a con- sulting enghiG?'r to?-eu.ort r;»on mining pn)- ipeFt????'or?h?c?uptty ?s w?!???ad, a.?d 111 'ariHbly 11 is' report? wcro a<-tpd npon. for his knowledge of mining' wa,? not only a very special one but he possessed a sound.) judgment. In his professional capacity he WM popular both with employers and workmen, and this was particularly emphasise.d on his retire- ment about twenty years ago from the man- agement of Messrs. Cory's properties. At a public meeting at Clydaeh he was the re- cipient of a very handsome illuminated ad- dress in book form and a costly grand piano. The deceased gentleman filled several im- portant position* outside his professional call- ing. A keen student of &cie.nce he took a verv active part in the Royal Institution, and it may here be observed that rnnnv years ago lie won the bronze medal for science offered by the Science ;.Hj Art Deparment, T .r,nrl¡;n His Public Life. During the hiS agitation m the seventies for open spaces in the town be was awarded a gold medhl and a prize of ten guineas by the late Mr. Thomas of La.n for the second best essay on recreation grounds for Swan- sea. For nine years he was a leading mem- ber of the old Swansea, School Board, being chairman for some time, and in 1890 he was added to the Commission of the Paice for the borough, and upon the death of the late Mr. Howel Waikins succeeded him as chair- man of the Swansea Licensing Bench, a posi- tion he occupied with impartiality and good judgment. The funeral is on Tuesdav next pt throe o'clock at the Mumbles, the arrangement's being in the liands of Messrs. D. C. Jones and Son. Castle so-tare.