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Pembrokeshire and the War…


Pembrokeshire and the War Fund. SUCCESSFUL MEETING AT THE SHIUE HALL. MUNIFICENT SUBSCRIPTIONS. SPEECHES BY LORD CAWDOR, LADY KENSINGTON AND OTHERS. On Saturday a very successful meeting, convened by Lord Cawdor, Lord Lieutenant of the County, was held at the Shire Hall, Haverfordwest, for the purpose of devising the best means of raising funds for the wives and fainiles of soldiers and reservists at present on active service. There was a very good attendance, chiefly of county gentry, and the proceedings were most enthusiastic. The following were amongst those present:—Lord Cawdor, Lady Konsingtou, Sir Chas. and Lady Philipps, Mr J. Wynford Philipps, M.P., Capt. and Mrs Lloyd Phillips (Pent-y-parc), Baron de Rutzen, Mr and Mrs W. H. Walters, Col. Saurin, Lady Lambton, Rev. Silas Phillips, Mr E. A. Laws, Mr T. Rule Owen, Dr. Griffith, l?lilf. ?: d )vlr G. P. Brewei- Milford Mr G. P. Brewer, Capt. Young, Mr Marlay Samson, Mr 11. Carrow, Col. Leach, Mr A. W. Massy Mr and Mrs J. H. Morton, Mr and the Hon. Mrs Lort Phillips, the Chief Constable (MrT. 1. Webb-Bowen) Mr and Mrs Anthony Stokes, Dr. Swete (Fishguard), Mr S H. Owen, Mr and Mrs Morris Owen, Mr Edward Eaton. Evans, Mr H. Seymour Allen, Miss Ada Thomas, Mr X. Roch, Mr R. B. Summers, Rev. F. X. Colborne, Rev. T G. Marshall, Mr J. T. Fisher (Denant), Mr J. C. Yorke (Trecwn), Mr T. Llewellin (Haythog), Mr Mathia8 (La.mphey), Mr W. Davies (Westfield), Rev. C. F. ttarriaon, Rev. D. Akril Jones, Rev. S. H. Tute (Cam- rose), Mr W. J. Jones, Mr W. D. George, Col. Trower, Mr S. J. Allen, Mr H. G. Allen, Q.C., Mr S. W- Dawkins, Mr G. P. Brewer, Narberth; MrT. Oswald, Milford; Rev. 1. G. Lloyd, Cosheston; Rev. A. W. Jones, Wiston Rev. W. Beach Thomas, &c. On the motion of Sir Charles Philipps, mayor, Lord Cawdor was appointed president of the meeting. Lord Cawdor, in opening the proceedings, said the meeting they had called to-day would require only a very few words from him to explain its reason and its object. He had already done that to soma extent through the public Press, but he might sketch out for them what his ideas were as to the best course they should take in order to carry out the object they had in view. First of all, he thought it was apparent to all of them that the English people at present were divided into two lots one lot Were taking an active part in the warfare at present going on, and the other lot at home were watching and Waiting. Many of them knew pretty well what it was to watch and wait. There were not many homes in which there was not watching and waiting, but he thanked God that in most of those homes there was only one sido to the watching and waiting. But there were others in Which there was something mora. In most of their homes there was peaoe and plenty, but of many others exactly the reverse must bo written where in addition to the anxiety and the burden of waiting and Watching there was too often the very difficult problem, even in easy and prosperous times, the problem of keeping together the family home, THE BITTER PROBLEM OF KEEPING THE WOLF FROM THE DOOR. They wished to aim at relieving those families and their homes from the latter burden they wanted to be certain that in Pembrokeshire at all events no home should suffer While the bread-winner was on active service. (Loud Applause). It was for that reason he had asked them to taeet him here to-day and to take counsel together, as practical men and women, how bast to deal with the Question at the present moment. Some people had told them that there was no use making a fugs about this thing, and had said they ought not to try to do too much or have house to house collections, or have regular organizations. They would have anybody who wished to seud into the Bank their contributions. He ventured to say that that was an absolutely wrong conel usion- (loud applause) —he had no doubt that was a mistaken line to take. It was easy for any one who indulged in cheques to send an order to the Bank, but it was very difficult for the humble ones to do that which he was certain every one of them desired to do—little or much whatever it might bo-to bear their share in the trials of those who Were in greater trouble than themselves. He did not believe they could get at them except in their own homes and that was the spirit in which they should be ap- proached. That was his reason for sayiug that they should have a thorough organization and a house to house collection. (Hear, hear). He did not think there Was any other means of getting to these homes, and these small subscriptions mean a good deal, often more than the subscriptions of the richer men. There was one other point which he thought he might impress on them. There were very few homes, he thought, in England at the present time where the pressure of anxiety was not felt either directly or indirectly, and he thought they might press upon them in their trouble that they could not do better than help others who were in trouble, and he would ask them if they did Dot feel the happier by feeling that they had lent a hand to some extent nt all events to help those at this time of trouble and need. (Applause). What they wanted to do was to be practical, to take up the Work which he was glad to say was being done in all Parts of the country they wanted to see, so far as they could, first of all in their own county and generally throughout the country, to prevent want coming to the doors of the families of the soldiers and sailors now on active service. Writing upon this point a short time ago Lord Lansdowne referred to the SOLDIERS AND SAILORS FAMILIES ASSOCIATION which had branches in every county and town of im- portance and said it was prepared to place its large amount of local information at the disposal of local com- jnittees that might be formed, and its co-operation might be availed of. This, Lord Cawdor, said was advice of a sound character. Here in this County since 1S8.3 there ha.d been an association, of that kind, the Soldiers and Sailors Families Association, and its president, he was glad to say was Lady Kensington who sat on his right hand. (Apph1use). The secretary was Col. Saurin, the treasurer, Col. Lambton, himself an old soldier, and in the various districts there were were officers and a pre- sident ready to take up any work that might fall on them. The chief object of this association was to see that the families of men on active service were taken care of, and they should congratulate themselves that this Was one of the counties which had a branch in full Working order. The great thing was to build up an association like this in time of quiet, and so when the emergency came they would have it to fall back upon. That was their position to-day, and they should tender their thanks to those who had raised up such an organiz- ation. It was started with a good deal of splash, and some people thought it not necessary, but one long- headed man said You wont hare much to do now, but get the association together and you'll have it when you do want it." A deep debt of gratitute was due to those who in quieter times had looked ahead, for now they were reaping the benefit. This association, as Lady Kensing- ton would explain, had for its object to help the families of soldiers and sailors in particular, but it also expended a portion of its resources on assistance to the widows of THOSE WHO HAD FALLEN IN CAMPAIGN. It was one of those that was recognised by, and received assistance from the Mansion House Fund, therefore it Was aided by the general funds raised for this purpose. (Applause). The suggestion he would make to-day was that they would be wise if in dealing with the question they avoided fresh organisations and invite this association to take upon itself the collection and distribution of the funds they hoped to raise in this county. (Applause). So far as the collection was concerned they would be able through their presidents and com- mittees in the districts to get any local assistance they Wanted. In Pembroke Dock they were already giving assistance to the wives of men now on active service. Money was now being spent and they wanted more. He did believe that this organization was the best to carry the work through. There would be no forwarding of the funds to London they just paid into the banks and give the treasurer the accounts week by week, and this was for people in their own midst and people who need their help, and in this connection the saying was true that those who give quickly give best. They wanted to find out the wife and family of every man abroad this information could he obtained from the general officer commanding the district. They should follow up the wives on the strength of the regiment and those who Were not, for they should assist both with equal care. (Applause). For the wives on the strength the Govern- ment would make a grant, but for those not on the strength it would not. Then he hoped THIS ASSOCIATION WOULD STEP IN AXD DOUBLE THE GRANT to the wives not on the strength of the regiment so as to bring both up to the same position. (Applause). There Were of course many details which local knowledge would be needed to decide and that was the great advantage of having a local committee who could get the necessary information, Ife would now call on Lady Kensington to tell them something further about the Sailors and Soldiers Association which he was satis tied could not be better adapted to the object they had in view. (Applause). Lady Kensington, who was received with applause, then addrossed the meeting. She said several of them would remember that this association was started fourteen years ago. As Lord Cawdor had said they never had much to do. They had not many recruits 7? .,Vy ill the rurtl districts of either for the Army or the Navy in the rural districts of Pembrokeshire and accordingly the great amount of the work mostly lay in Pembroke Dock. At the present time the duty of the association would be to collect funds. Now and agaiu they might hear of a case of the wife and children of a man or reservist on active service who belonged to some remote corner of Pembrokeshire. She had a few within the last week. First of all she wanted to lot them know what the Pembrokeshire branch consists of, so that in any case such as she had mentioned they would know where to go. She (Lady Kensington) was herself president and very proud she Was of being so. The vice-president always changed with the changes at the Dockyard and the officer in command. At present Mrs Barlow and Mr Whitmore Smith, of Pembroke Dock, were vice-presidents, Col. Lambton treasurer, and Col. Saurin secretary. The committee was formed of seven presidents of divisions representing the eight hundreds of the county of Pem- broke. The first of these was Pembroke Dock, of which she was herself president Castlemartin, of which Lady Victoria Lambton was president; Kernes and Cilgerran, Mrs Bo wen Dowislaud, Mrs Edwardos, Sealyham; Duugloddy, Lady Philipps and Roose, Mrs Davis, Trewarren. Some of these ladies like Lady Philipps and Mrs Bowen had their committees but others had not committees because up to now they had nothing to do. They all knew that the founder and originator of this society was our well-beloved Princess of Wales. (Applause). It was she who founded it aud her right hand assistant was Col. Gildea. He had worked the whole business under her. Col. Gildea had written a letter a few days ago to some of them in which he stated that at 110 other occasion at timo of war had there been AN ORGANIZATION OF OVER 3,000 LADIES AXD GENTLEMEN voluntarily undertaking to befriend the wives and families of our soldiers and sailors during absence on active service, helping them not always with money, but in educating their children and obtaining employment for them. At present at Pembroke Dock Rev Mr Phillips and Mrs Thomas had 30 eases in hand, and they were enabled to give them substantial help from the funds received from the headquarters of this association which never would have been given if they had not- this association. Tiley must not let their idleness in the past be a standard for the present. They must be up and doing. All their hearts and interests were in this cause and the best thing they could do to help it on was to work hand in hand and with a will TO HELP THE WOMEN LEFT BEHIND by those brave men who are doing so much for us in South Africa. (Loud applause.) Mr E. Laws (High Sheriff) rose to propose the first resolution, and in doing so he said he had in the first place to congratulate Lord Cawdor on the patriotism which his lordship had exhibited in calling that meeting together. (Applause). As Lady Kensington had told them it was not for the men who were fighting in South Africa they were assembled, but for the women and children. They had sent out their sous, their best beloved; the very pick of their manhood had gone out. Adventures many of them, no doubt, but adventurers in the best sense of the word, they would represent their forefathers who had built up this mighty empire. (Ap- plause). He thought if they were to ask those sons what they should do for them, they would say, Dont't mind us but think of the trouble of the wives and bairns at home." And he would add of the still worse trouble, if it should happen that the breadwinner did not come back. (Hear, hear). Now the question was how were they to help them ? It was no cause of charity-it was a right. (Applause). He thought the first thing they had to do was to work together. He understood the Mayor of Tenby had commenced before they did, and he had sent his money to the Mansion House Fund, but he was happy to say that that covers Lady Kensington's Association. so there would be no difficulty about that. He did hope they would all pull together with a long pull, a strong pull and a pull all together. (Applause). He begged to propose that funds be collected throughout the county on behalf of the families of the soldiers and sailors engaged in the present war." (Applause). Mr J. Wynford Philipps, M.P., in seconding the resolution, said they had met to voice what he hoped and believed was the unanimous voice of the County of Pembroke. (Hear, hear). They were NOT MET TO DISCUSS THE MERITS OF THE WAR. To discuss the merits of the war at the present time would be about as sensible as to try to argue with a man when he was hitting you in the face. (Applause). If they wanted to discuss the merits of a war it should be done either before it had commenced or after it was over. It seemed to him that the duty of every British subject was a very simple one. He should hold his tongue and vote supplies, and do all he could to help the men who are fighting for him in the field. (Loud applause). As Mr Laws ha.d said there are many Pembrokeshire men at the front there were many of them in that room who had friends and relatives at the front and in the County of Pembrokeshire there are hundreds who have in South Africa, all they love best in the world. They might have seen the other day in the newspapers how iu London oue poor woman tried to commit suicide, and when she was rescued from the water she told them how her husband was a reservist who had been ordered out to South Africa, and she could not bear to live without him. There were many like that. (Hear, hear). But there were men in South Africa who felt worse. They were not thinking of their own lives or the hardships they would have to undergo, but they were thinking far more about the wives and children they had left behind them. It was not much encouragement to a man to think that he was not only risking his own life, but that if he was maimed or killed he would leave a widow and children looking only to charity, and that even if he did come home safe that perhaps during the months he would be away his wife and children would be in the poorhouse. That was not much to look forward to, and he hoped that before many days were over they would be in a position to send a telegram from London to every British camp in South Africa to say that money enough had been raised to make the wives and children of every soldier as well off during the war as if their husbands had been at home providing for them. (Loud applause.) In seconding this resolution there was just another word he wished to say and that was that he hoped it would be thoroughly understood throughout the length and breadth of the land that this was no charity. Charity The idea made him hot, to think that they had been charitable to the people who risked their lives for them. He hoped that would be thoroughly understood, because after all the people who looked to this fund were amongst the proudest in the land, many of them would sooner starve than call on anyone for assistance. The obligation was all on the part of the public, and it was a deep obligation to THOSE WHO WERE RISKING THEIR LIVES _.? I and doing their work for them. When they had that obligation to discharge there was not one penny that they could give, given as charity, but merely as a trifling acknowledgment of the deep debt they owed them. (Loud applause). The resolution was passed unanimously. The Chairman said he had received a number of com- munications with subscriptions and promises of sub- scriptions. They included letters from Mr C. J. Williams, Mayor of Tenby; Rev. Mr Mathias, Mr George Leader Owen and Lady Maxwell, Mr James Phillips, J.P., Honeyboro. Several sent subscriptions or intimations of subscriptions, including Mr Wynford Philipps, £100; his brother, Mr Owen Philipps, 10 guineas, on his own behalf, and on behalf of his company, the King Line Company, XIOO Lady Kensington, £ 25 Lady Scourfield (who was not able to be present, but Sir Owen was), ZCIO; Mr Lewis, Narberth, 3 guineas Rev. Mr Mathias, 2 guineas; Mr Jas. Phillips, 1 guinea; and Mr Conyngham, Penally, £ 5. Sir Charles Philipps who was received with applause said this rcpresen tab ve meeting had now decided that funds should be collected for the great and patriotic object which Lord Cawdor had so very clearly described to them. They had also heard from Lady Kensington that there was a sooiety ready and willing to receive and distribute this fund. It is seldom that a meeting called together for a great public object finds itself with an association 80 thoroughly and so readily at hand to work it as that which the ladies of Pembrokeshire have pro- vided, and he was sure every man in the room felt grate- ful to the ladies of the association who would properly apply the fund. He need not add anything to the valuable speeches they had already heard but would merely propose That the collection and distribution of the funds foi the families of soldiers and sailors be en- trusted to the Soldiers and Sailors Families' Association aud to the president of the association Lady Kensing- ton." (Applause.) Dr Griffith, of Milford, seconded the resolution. If ever there was a time, he said, when a public duty of this kind should be performed that time had arrived now. Their soldiers were fighting for the rights of our kins- men, and he would say that if ever there was a iust war THIS WAS A JUST WAR. v I (Loud applause). They all abhorred war as a calamity, but how would it have been if there had not been wars in the old days ? They had that old warlike spirit in them to-day. He seconded the resolution with pleasure and in doing so he said it was a comfort to think that the money was not being sent away, because there was a fear that when it was it was as a rule a long time coming back. They had the consolation to know on this occasion that the families of their soldiers and sailors would be well looked after when they knew who the president was. (Applause.) Rev. T. G. Marshall remarked that the resolution did not state the area which was to be collected. He wanted to know if there was any organization for the collection of moneys and the areas over which each of these organizations would extend. The Chairman said the first resolution dealt with the collection. The district is the whole of Pembrokeshire. Mr Marshall said there would be a difficulty unless it was a parochial collection and he had written a resolution to that effect. Lord Cawdor said it would be parochial. The county was divided into Hundreds and these in turn could be divided into parish committees. Dr. Swete (Fishguard) said they had held a meeting in Fishguard and made a collection. There was no branch of the Soldiers and S titors Association there, but they would be glad to hand over the money to the present fund. The Chairman said he was obliged. He was sure the working of the fund would meet the views of their friends in Fishguard. Lady Kensington said she believed Mrs Bowen was the president for the Fishguard district. The resolution was then put and carried unanimously. Sir Owen Scourfield proposed that all the banks having branches in Pembrokeshire be requested to receive subscriptions on behalf the fund, to be made payable to Col. Lambton the treasurer." Rev. F. N. Colborne said it gave him very much pleasure to second the resolution that the banks should be asked to receive subscriptions. He was quite sure they would do so and also that they would be very thankful if these accounts were very large, so that they might have large amounts to forward to the treasurer. The resolution was passed. Sir Charles Philipps intimated that he understood that the National Provincial and also Lloyds' Bank had agreed to do so. The Chairman said he hoped they all would. The re- solution would be communicated to them. Rev Silas Phillips proposed a resolution that the list of presidents of divisions should be furnished to the chair- man of every parish couucil, with a request for their assistance in the collections." He said he was very glad of having this opportunity for thanking the meeting for the encouragement it had given the Soldiers and Sailors Families Association. They had been working a good while now, and it was a great encouragement kTflud that what they were doing had the approbation of the people at large. They wore trying to make every wife and family understand that they would not be a bit worse off because the husband was at the front, and they dis- couraged the idea of charity. People told them that the money would be spent in luxuries which they would not perhaps have had if the husbands were at home, but it was no business of theirs how it was spent. (Applause.) It was their business to see that they got just as much as if their husbands were at home. (Hear, hear.) Mr Lort Phillips had much pleasure in seconding the resolution which had only just been handed to him. He did not intend to make a speech, but he wished just to meution that he had a letter from Mr Colby that morn- illg III which he mentioned that he had sent 25 guineas to the Mansion House Fund. As some of the other sub- scribers had been mentioned he thought it right to men- tion this. (Applause.) 1 The resolution was passed. The Chairman said he desired to return his most grate- ftil thanks to all who had come there to-day, and he hoped that what they had done would result in their being able to do what they aimed at, and that was out of their own county fund to maintain and provide for every family in need of help during the war. If they could do more all the better, but he felt that Pembrokeshire wives of soldiers and sailors should bo helped by their own efforts. Lady Lambton desired to say that Col. Lambton re- gretted his inability to be present, but that the work had his most hearty support. Sir Charles Philipps then moved a vote of thanks to the Chairman for presiding and for calling this meeting and giving them an opportunity of discussing the matter. He was sure they were delighted to see Lord Cawdor amougst them, more especially when he came to support such a valuable project as this. Mr Wynford Philipps seconded the resolution, and being put to the meeting it wa? passed with acclamation. I. Lord Cawdor acknowledged the compliment. He said if his duties as Lord Lieutenant of the County were always as easy he would have a very pleasant time of it.


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