TOPIC: The Ballachulish Volunteers, F Coy. 5th V.B. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
The Ballachulish Volunteers, F Coy. 5th V.B. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 3 weeks 5 days ago #66883
Ballachulish is 7 or 8 miles southwest of Fort William.
HEARTY RESPONSE BY THE BALLACHULISH VOLUNTEERS.The Ballachulish Company of the Argyll and Sutherland Rifle Volunteers (commanded by Major G. H. Black, of Greenock and Dunoon), has been asked to supply three men for service in the proposed Scottish Volunteer Battalion for service in South Africa. At a meeting of the company held last night twenty-five men volunteered for this service, and all the officers and remainder of the company (125 strong) resolved to offer their services to the Government for garrison or any other duty that they may be asked to perform. The Ballachulish Company is the one mentioned in the War Office returns recently issued as the most efficient company in Argyllshire, and it may be remembered that they represented Scotland at the great Military Tournament held at the Agricultural Hall in London last summer.
Dunoon Herald, Friday 22nd December 1899
At the end of a report of four Dunoon Volunteers' departure: -
The Commanding Officer has to thank the above men for coming forward to represent the corps, and has every confidence that they will uphold its credit while they are on active service. It is with much sorrow and feelings of shame, which he is sure the remainder of the battalion will join in, that he learns that the men of F Company (Ballachulish), after having returned 24 names for active service, are at the last moment unable to find a single man to come forward to represent them, and this at a time when Volunteers are flocking from all parts of the country to join their line battalions at the front. The Commanding Officer is most gratified to find that the number of men promised by F Company has been made up by B, C, D, and G Companies without the slightest hesitation, and they deserve the greatest praise for their patriotism and esprit de corps, thereby saving the name and credit of the battalion, which was in jeopardy of being disgraced. This order to be read on a full parade of every company. No. 2828, Pte. Donald Livingston; No. 2515, William M'Intyre; No. 2822, Donald Vance - F Company, are struck off the strength of the battalion, their services being no longer required. The men forming the active service contingent will proceed to Stirling on the 17th inst., to be quartered there prior to embarkation. Officers commanding companies will make every effort to raise 15 men throughout the corps as a reserve contingent. These men will be medically examined and attested, and passed at once to the reserve. They will receive reserve pay at the rate of 6d. a day. By Order. (Signed),
R. C. GORE,
Capt. and Adjutant,
5th V.B. A. & S. Highlanders.
10th Jany., 1900.
Dunoon Herald, Friday 19th January 1900
THE BALLACHULISH VOLUNTEERS.
THE REAL FACTS OF THE CASE.A great sensation has been created in Volunteering circles throughout Argyllshire by the refusal of the four Ballachulish men who had been accepted by the War Office for service at the front to obey the call, and needless to say such unpatriotic conduct has occasioned a strong feeling of indignation and disgust among all classes. From inquiries made we learn on reliable authority that the failure of the four men selected for the front to carry out their resolve to proceed to South Africa with the Dunoon and other men of the regiment is not due to lack of patriotism, but solely to the great pressure which had been brought to bear on them by their parents and friends. To show this two of the men asked the officers to send them away privately (without the knowledge of their parents) and they would go at once, but this was a course which did not meet with the approval of the Officer in command. After all, the Company, consisting of 125 men, should not all be censured for the fault of only four of their number. The parents of the Dunoon men have shewn a proper spirit in this matter and one in marked contrast to that of the "North."
Dunoon Herald, Friday 19th January 1900
THE BALLACHULISH VOLUNTEERS.The members of the F Company (Ballachulish) 1st Volunteer Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders have furnished the most emphatic reply possible to the taunts of want of patriotism cast on the corps through the medium of the press and otherwise by sending to Stirling Castle on Tuesday the five men asked for. A most enthusiastic meeting was held in the hall on Monday night, at which the five men who had originally been examined and passed stated that they were ready and waiting the call to go to the front. Quite a number of others also expressed their willingness to join the colours if required, and all the vacancies created in the company were filled by new recruits. Yesterday morning a large crowd conveyed the party to the pier, and gave them a hearty send-off, while Mrs. Stuart, of Dalness, presented each man with a sovereign as he stepped on board, and wished them good luck and all success. It may be mentioned that it was while on a visit to Dalness that General Hector Macdonald held an informal inspection of the Ballachulish company, on which occasion he complimented the officers and men.
VOLUNTEERS AND THE WAR.The following letter appeared in a morning contemporary: -
Ballachulish,Sir, - We, the undersigned, beg to contradict, through your columns, a statement made by the colonel commanding the 5th Volunteer Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in his send-off speech to the members of B, C, D, and G Companies, who have volunteered for active service in South Africa, wherein he stated that the members of F Company who volunteered for the front without exception withdrew their names, thus jeopardising the fair name of the battalion, and the regiment to which they are attached. Out of the five who were medically examined and passed, we are here still awaiting further orders from headquarters, and we take this opportunity of emphatically denying that lack of patriotism has prevented us from being called up. we are, &c.,
January 19, 1900.
CAPT. GORE'S REPLY.
Headquarters,Sir, - With reference to a letter in your issue of to-day from Ballachulish, signed Donald Cameron and William M'Intyre, contradicting a statement said to have been made by the colonel commanding the 5th Volunteer Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders at the departure of some members of the corps to join the active service company now formed at Stirling Castle, I beg to lay before you the true facts of the case, which are not correctly stated in the letter referred to. The statement that the 24 members of F Company who volunteered for the front without exception withdrew their names is perfectly correct; it was not stated in a speech on parade, but is from Battalion Orders, which are not meant for publication in the press. The men selected for service from Ballachulish were medically inspected by the local doctor in the first instance; eleven names were kept on the list, these were finally (owing to parents not wishing their sons to be taking [taken?]) reduced to three, and one old member of the corps, who specifically rejoined to go out. These four assured their officers they wished to go, and that they intended to go. Their names were submitted with the other men's selected to Stirling for approval. They were all approved and orders were received for all to be in Glasgow by a certain date to be medically examined by an army medical officer. This order was wired to Ballachulish, and was answered the following morning by an officer of the company that the men withdrew their names. It was wired to them that it was impossible to withdraw now, as their names were at Stirling and had been approved. The answer was - "The men absolutely refuse to go." After this no further orders were naturtally sent to this company, and the four men deficient from the contingent for service had to be made up at the last moment from the other companies, which was done without the slightest hesitation - I am, &c.,
January 22, 1900.
R. C. GORE,
Capt. and Adjt. 5th V.B. A. AND S.H.
The poor Ballachulish Volunteers who volunteered but wouldn't, have come in for some nasty jibes. the true story of the business is rather instructive, and should stop the mouths of scoffers. Every man jack did volunteer, and that without hesitation. But Magersfontein did it. A Ballachulish man was wiped out there along with the poor Black Watch. That was enough. the wives, mothers, sweethearts, and female cousins got up in arms, and vetoed service abroad. They would have none of it, and when an unlucky recruiting sergeant was one day descried approaching the place, the women got strongly entrenched and greeted him with such a fusillade of stones that he had to beat a quick retreat. The Amazons then dared their menfolks to go out; and they didn't dare. - Lorgnette.
As an example of the sarcasm indulged in at the expense of the Ballachulish Volunteers we give the following conundrum by a Kirn man - "Why are the Ballachulish Volunteers like Lord Nelson?" Because the last thing Nelson did was to die for his country, and that is about the last thing these northern braves are likely to do.
The last five items are all from the Dunoon Herald, Friday 26th January 1900
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