OF WAR MEDALS June 1903
The lower Market Square, Keswick, was on Saturday, the scene of an interesting ceremony, this being the presentation of medals and watches and chains to those of the Keswick Company of Volunteers who took up arms for their country in the South African War. There were six who received these substantial tokens of their fellow townsmens appreciation of their valour and readiness to respond to the call of their country. Their names are
J. H. ROBINSON,
J. E. WILSON,
J. C. SCOTT,
Previous to the ceremony the band of the 1st V. B. Border Regiment, conducted by Mr. Felix BURNS, marched from the station to the Drill Hall, and thence at the head of the E Company, proceeded to the Market Square to the strains of a lively march. The Company paraded in khaki uniform and were drawn up in front of the Town Hall steps, from which the presentation was to take place.
Here Mr. A. ADAMSON, (chairman of the Urban District Council, presiding) and the following ladies and gentlemen took up positions: - Captain BROATCH (commanding E Company) Major and Mrs. R. E. HIGHTON, Major WILLIAMS, Mr. and Mrs. A. MITCHELL-DAWSON, members of the Urban District Council, and others.
Mr. ADAMSON said as chairman of the Urban District Council, he had been asked to open these proceedings. They were there to present medals to members of their Keswick corps, and also present them with watches as a small token of their fellow-townsmens appreciation of their services in South Africa. He thought it was unique in the annals of the Keswick Corps that there were so many men ready and willing to volunteer for active service and to acquit themselves so well as they had done. ( hear, hear.) As this was a military ceremony he would not say more, but call upon Captain BROATCH to address them prior to the presentation of the medals. (Applause.)
Captain BROATCH said he wished to read two telegrams which he had received - one from an old comrade of theirs under whom he (Captain BROATCH) had served and who also served under him, Colonel Edwin JACKSON. He said,-
“Regret important, engagement keeps me from you to-day. Active servicemen have my best. wishes and appreciation for their services. As former commander of the E Company, I wish them every success.”
(Applause.) The other was from their good friend, Captain and Major BINNING; - “Much regret cannot be with you to-day.’
Captain BROATCH said he supposed none of them would ever live to participate in such a scene as this again, namely the presentation of medals to men who had served their country as members of a Volunteer Company. Referring to Major HIGHTON and his one time connection with the old Skiddaw Greys, the speaker said they were all proud of the Mayor of Workington, who came out from amongst them.
After a few more appropriate remarks Captain BROATCH called upon Major HIGHTON to present the medals.
Three medals to the
men had two clasps. The men were called up in slightly
different order to that in which their names were given, and Mr.
HIGHTON pinned the medals on their breast amid cheers from the
assembled throng of people, and shook hands with each.
Mr. T. E. HIGHTON, an Urban District Councillor, and chairman of the Watch Committee, previous to calling upon Mrs. MITCHELL-DAWSON to present the watches and chains, explained that two years ago they presented watches to the first Volunteers that returned from the war. He also referred to the memorial placed in Crosthwaite Church to the two men who had died in action. They had been in doubt as to whether they would be able to carry out a similar proceeding with regard to these men, whom they rejoiced to welcome to-day, owing to lack of funds. But the proceeds of a Garrick Club entertainment and a balance from the Coronation Fund kindly given to them by the respective Committees had enabled them to undertake the matter, and the public had also subscribed generously, so that they were enabled also to present these good silver lever watches suitably inscribed to the men and they would remember them as an evidence of their fellow-townsmen’s appreciation of the way they had served their Queen and Country (Applause.)
Mrs. MITCHELL-DAWSON then presented the watches and guards to the men , and shook hands with them, the men saluting as they retired.
Mr. MITCHELL-DAWSON proposed a vote of thanks to Major HIGHTON for presenting the medals.
Major HIGHTON responding, said he was proud of his connection with the old Skiddaw Greys, and it had given him great pleasure to do so in compliance with Captain BROATCH’s request and he was sure that if ever the time came again when the din of battle sounded the call, there would be ready, not 50 but 500 to volunteer their services for their country. (Applause.) As long as they had this kind of men ready to come forward at its call the old country need never despair. (Hear, hear.) he urged the necessity of proper equipment, modern accoutrements, and &c.
Captain BROATCH proposed a vote of thanks to Mrs. MITCHELL-DAWSON who, he said, with her good husband were always interested in anything that concerned the welfare of their fellow-townspeople. (Applause.)
Mr. MITCHELL-DAWSON having responded on behalf of his Wife with an expression of appreciation of the men’s readiness to serve their country, the ceremony came to an end.
The band played “God Save The King,” and three cheers for the King and Queen, called for by Mr. T. E. HIGHTON, were heartily given.
Captain and Mrs. BROATCH subsequently entertained a number of ladies and gentlemen to tea at the Queen’s Hotel. The band for a time entertained the public with selections of music in the square.