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Lancashire Fusiliers, Salford, Lancashire 9 months 4 weeks ago #74689

  • BereniceUK
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The unveiling went wrong - the King was supposed to leave the carriage and step on to a dais (in the second image just beyond the carriage), from where he would pull a cord which would then pull down the coverings from the figure. But, perhaps because the timetable was running late, he remained in the carriage and was therefore pulling the cord from further away and from a different angle, resulting in the coverings beginning to tear. So an officer stepped forward to help pull down the coverings (image 3).




THE FUSILIERS' MEMORIAL.

UNVEILED BY THE KING.

....Second in importance to the chief ceremony of the day in connection with the Ship Canal was the unveiling, by the King, of the handsome memorial to the Salford Volunteers who fell in South Africa. The memorial, which was described in detail in yesterday's issue of the "Manchester Courier," is situated on an open space at the junction of Oldfield-road and the Crescent, Salford. On the large centre stone of the pedestal, fronting the Crescent, is the inscription:
......................................................Erected by the County Borough of
..................................................Salford to the memory of many townsmen
..................................................who served their Sovereign and Country
..................................................in South Africa.
............................................................................1899-1902
......................................................And particularly in honour of the
..................................................Volunteer Active Service Companies of
..................................................the Lancashire Fusiliers.
........................................................................Daring in all things.
Above the pedestal is the bronze figure of a soldier in the uniform of a Lancashire Fusilier, standing with his right hand raised above his head, waving his busby, and with his left hand gripping his rifle and fixed bayonet. The memorial is a replica of the one unveiled at Bury in March to the memory of the Lancashire Fusiliers, Regulars, Militia, and Volunteers who fell during the South African Campaign, and is the work of Mr. George Frampton, R.A., the distinguished sculptor.
....The memorial stands as the chief evidence of a permanent character of the royal visit to Salford, and in its connection it is a matter of particular satisfaction to reflect that when the question of erecting a memorial was first mooted the suggestion of a mural tablet in one of the Salford churches was rejected in favour of the present monument. Otherwise Salford would probably not have had the pleasure of knowing that so important a personage as the King himself had performed the unveiling ceremony.
A WAITING THE A RRIVAL
....There was naturally a strong desire on the part of Salford people in general to see the King perform such an interesting ceremony, and early in the afternoon the pavements in the neighbourhood of the memorial were thickly crowded. Reserved seats on a large grand stand behind the memorial and in front of the Salford Royal Hospital, opposite, were all occupied, and wherever else possible in the semi-circle thus formed people crowded forward to watch the proceedings. In front of the memorial a raised platform, carpeted and decked with bunting and red baize, had been erected, and it was here that the Mayor of Salford (Alderman Stephens), accompanied by Colonel Sir Lees Knowles, Bart., M.P., and other dignitaries awaitred the arrival of Their Majesties.
....Only the upper part of the memorial, that is the bronze figure of the Fusilier, was draped, the covering consisting of a light yellow cloth with the Union Jack above it. Connected with the double covering was an ornamental cord, the end of it being attached to the rail of the dais. A red baize carpet extended from the dais right up to the foot of the memorial as if in invitation to the King to step forward and read the inscription on the stonework more closely. As events turned out, however, His Majesty did not avail himself of the opportunity.
....A guard of honour consisting of a hundred men of the First, Seond, and Third Volunteer Battalions (Salford) of the Lancashire Fusiliers, together with the band of the local battalions, was drawn up facing the memorial. The officers present were Col. Haworth (Commanding 3rd V.B.L.F.), Captain Seckham (Adjutant 3rd V.B.L.F.), Lieutenant-Colonel H. B. Moss, Colonel Hall, Colonel Humphreys, Major Yahr, Major Caros, Major Hamilton, Major Smith, Captains Lilley, McClure, Armitage, Boddington, Taite, Fallows, Bailey, Holden, Pearse, Alexander, and Gillibrand, Lieutenants Wilson, Barry, and Le Combie. The Rev. E. J. Reeve, Chaplain of the 3rd Volunteer Battalion, was also present. During the afternoon various officers superintending the general military arrangements rode past the memorial on horseback or in motor cars.
A RRIVAL OF THE K ING AND Q UEEN
....Shortly after four o'clock the sound of cheering in the direction of Peel Park indicated that the royal procession was approaching. A number of mounted police and Hussars shortly afterwards appeared, followed by the carriage containing the Lord Mayor of Manchester (Sir T. Thornhill Shann), the Lady Mayoress (Miss Shann), Miss Amy Shann, and the Recorder (Sir Joseph Leese, K.C., M.P.). The carriage passed by the memorial and halted near the end of Oldfield-road until the arrival of the remainder of the procession. A few moments later a carriage containing Alderman S. Rudman and Alderman W. Robinson (ex-Mayors of Salford), Mr. F. Platt-Higgins, M.P. for North Salford, and Mr. J. G. Groves, M.P. for South Salford, arrived, and this was speedily followed by the carriage of the Mayor of Salford (Alderman W. Stephens).
A MUSING C ONTRETEMPS
....From this moment the proceedings became somewhat hurried. It was evident that the time-table drawn up for the day was to be adhered to strictly. Hardly had the Mayor taken his place on the dais when the King's carriage was seen approaching from the Crescent amid the cheers of the people and the waving of handkerchiefs by the school children, who were located on the northern or river-side of the thoroughfare. Prior to the Lord Mayor's arrival Miss May Dickins, daughter of Mr. A. L. Dickins (ex-Mayor of Salford and Chairman of Governors of the Salford Royal Hospital), had taken her place on the dais with a beautiful bouquet of lilies and asparagus fern in her hand ready to present to the Queen. Others on the dais were the Recorder of Salford (Mr. A. A. Tobin, K.C.), the Town Clerk (Mr. L. C. Evans), Col. Haworth, V.D. (Commanding 3rd V.B.L.F.), Col. Sir Lees Knowles, Bart., M.P., Mr. F. Platt-Higgins, M.P., Mr. J. G. Groves, M.P., Alderman Rudman, and Alderman W. Robinson.
....A moment later the royal carriage drew up at the dais, and the King and Queen acknowledged the greeting offered them by a bow and a smile. No time was lost in preliminaries, and in the course of a minute or so the ceremony of presenting Colonel Haworth, Colonel Sir Lees Knowles, the Mayor, and others to the King was concluded.
....Colonel Lees Knowles then asked the King to unveil the memorial, and the silken cord attached to the drapery covering the bronze figure was handed to His Majesty, who remained seated in the carriage. The King began to "haul in the slack" with a will, but the Union Jack and other covering did not fall away as easily as expected. Instead the covering of bunting began to tear, and the sound of the ripping of cloth could be plainly heard on all sides. The King and Queen laughed heartily at this unexpected development, but His Majesty continued to pull the rope, and gradually the covering was loosened. An officer standing near the base of the memorial, seeing the difficulty, stepped forward, seized the bottom of the double covering, and brought it to the ground.
....As the figure of the Fusilier was displayed in the sunlight a roar of cheering broke from the crowd and was continued for some moments. The King looked with an admiring eye on the handsome memorial and glanced also at the inscription.
T HE F USILIERS' H ISTORY.
....Colonel Sir Lees Knowles then advanced towards the royal carriage and asked the King to accept a handsomely bound volume of the "History of the Lancashire Fusiliers." His Majesty received the book with a brief word of thanks, and returned the salute of the member for West Salford. The Mayor of Salford then formally received from the King the "custody" of the memorial on behalf of the town.
....Following this came the last item - the presentation to the Queen of a bouquet, at the hands of Miss May Dickins. Miss Dickins, with a low bow, handed the bouquet to Her Majesty, who smiled her thanks.
....The proceedings, the whole of which had occuped not more than five minutes, were now concluded, and the royal carriage passed on its way down Chapel-street, the King acknowledging the cheers of the people with repeated salutes, and the Queen bowing her thanks.

The Manchester Courier 14th July 1905
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