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Itii m WHO -WENT ;

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Itii m WHO WENT AT A C4liCERT Fgl ,,THE WOUNDED." An afterncoti- among scores and scores of wounded soldiers would suggest to most J ".oplo a depressing one, although maybe a suitable opportunity for the expression II of sympathy and good wishes. But, after spending an hour and three quarters, fitting with the boys, at the Swansea i M.C.A. Institute, as I sat on Friday, my impression is a totally different one. from The Other Department" and "(heir entertaining duties at the Swansea ►Empire, the artistes who this week draw and hold the audiences twice nightly, had kindly undertaken to give a free coocert wounded soldiers of Swansea, and to meet the boys and their friends, the nurses, on what may well be tenaed com- imn ground at the rooms of the Young ¡Men's Cheerful Association, in St. jlelen's-road. And I ca-n see and hear (them even now, with qtup and gag and song, and danoo, kee-ping everybody in the best ]x>S8ible humour, for the pro- gramme provided was a splendid one, mnd it was carried out with, the vim and I £ "aee and goodwill, and talent of expert entertainers at their best, aDd as thoroughly at home off the boards of a .professional house as on them. Just look at the audience: Soldiers in ilkhaki, soldiers in grey; men with ^crutches or walking slicks (and I have jihad bitter experience of the use of both); jJjoys with arms in splints; some with II tbandag; others with the greyness and pallor of sufferers from various incidents or accidents at the front, somewhere," « ayv,-here and everywhere.* They chaffed .1 'ld smoked cigarettes, exploded crackers like schoolboys home for the Christmas holidays; or munched biscuits, or im- itated barking dogs, or laughed or quietly waited for the curtain to be rung up. When it was, there was no need for aDr olilecl- to shout. eyes front," for everybody figuratively stood, or rather sat, at attention," and, later 0)1, IVIVII one of the artistee jocularly quoted the tide of the song Oh, where are the Boys of the Old Brigad.e," and the seemingly mal-a-propos reply, In hNI," was given, they laughed de- lightedly, because all the beds—and there were two long rows of them in the room, were empty. Inter alia, it may be added that several of the empty beds were-<utilised as Em- pire (seats for the occasion by nurses in uniform, medical gentlemen, and ladies who take an interest in Red Cross and hospital work. And those people entered intp the spirit of the men and of the | gdherng with as much zest as the roll- { i-king soldier boys who, having exploded their crackers were wearing on their ihr-ads the coloured paper caps captured as prizes. Some idea of the number and variety c' vhe ariic»es who volunteered to pro- vide the entertainment may be gathered (from the .list upon the programme handed irouud :—Overture, Empire orchestra; Miss Florence Gphem, Miss King, Charles •Mildaire, Miss Elsie Norris, Farr and Garland, Madam. J. Brader, The Eight Maids, Mdlie. Janette Denarber, Frederick (xregory, Mrs. A. Victor Good-1 man, Sammy Shields, Miss Lilian Merry, v [Herbert La Martine, Miss Edith Bull; God Save the King. They did not all takje part—these musical volunteers—for there was only hour and a half to go through the, von cert, and, of couree, there was more than one insistent demand for an encore. could not have it both ways. Sitting niongst th, soldiers, I did not always ,know who the singer was, in the absence of a telegraphed number, but we were -cli. quite content to take them as thcv c<:r.;e, for they were all good. Comic, sentimental, patriotic songe, glib patter and clattering step-dances—came with eoual arrace and bon-liontu>, and were if tltt- song had ) 'letter was the nr .^l'j^tajjuiy of chimin*; in; and it would l;ave clone your heart ?nod, for i<;j;atH to hear how all sang the gem of a chorus, ■which scintillated in Lena Gilbert Ford's leong. "and Ivor music: EVcp the homc-fireg burning, When your hearts ?i-c yearning, Though your lads are far away they dream of home: There's a silver lining. Through the dark clouds shining— Turn the dark clouds inside out Till the boys come home/" Please don't imagine that that was tho only song that took "—they all went well, and no wonder that at the close one oi the soldiers got up in his place and t-ali'-d for three cheers for the manage- I ment and artistes of the Swansea Empire. The response was what might have been <c\-rente"d—a hurricane of applause, m ■which even the pet dogs strolling about the room joined with glee. I well remember my old friend Malum "—now the Right Hon. W. .Abraham, M.P., one of the King's Privy Councillors—relating a pleasant, yarn con- nected with liis trip to America some • years ago. During the return voyage, the captain of the great Atlantic liner, asked iiaboii/ who was a Methodist preacher tes well arf an M.P. and a precentor at a chapel as well as a conductor of "Unn Wlad fy Xhadau" recitels, to conduct the chip's religious service on the Sunday. The ..Welsh M.P. consented, but feared lie ■would be at a disadvantage without a ewas a large and dis- •linguhuied. touring company on board, JJVIS Mabon assumed, at first, that they would not be or much assistance to him* He admitted to that he was very greatly surprised as the service went on to find that the theatrical company became the church choir, and a magni- -fireiit. one, too. W»a* it possible, thought Mabon, that the ladies had among them a young lady • w ho, in pursuit of her .studies and! duties, when on the stage might be kick- iag up a dainty toe higher than his head, or pirouetting on tip-soe like a humming- top? In any case, these people who strutted upon the stage in pursuit of their professional vocation joined, rever- ently and soulfully, in the singing of the '•hymns; and, while they were thus voyag- ir? upon the waves, with the Wel-,1 as the seamen's "'sky-pilot/' they ell gang, as. he had never heard it snug before—passengers, officers, and as many ø the crew as they cculcl muster: "God Bioves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants His footsteps in the eo&, And rides upen the sterni.11 A it was a yoifag theatrical lady who "led" the singmg of the Doxolog-y-, r. Praise God from WIIOM all blesslugs Flow." To me, this was not so wonderful, for I have met such wople on many, jr any occasions—'•'chuiumod with th,,m interviewed them, travelled with thm, samatimes quarrelled with them and then hecome friends again almost instantly, and know that they not only sing and i play and say gPod things, but do -Ood. So the concert of tho Swansea Empire artistes at the Y.M.C.A. on Friday was to me an exceptionally pleasant pe-*umon, I ;fan of memories of other days and of 1faith in the future. Awsun. I

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R.AJ.G. INSTRUCTOR'S PROMOTIONI

THE LIFEBOAT DISASTER

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