Issued on: Return
Date of presentation: 31/05/1901
Number issued: 1
Gold curb watch chain & pendant, suitably inscribed, to:
The pendant "will be suitably inscribed subsequently".
PRESENTATION TO TROOPER WAITE.
A very harmonious gathering was held to the Board Schools, Haverigg, on Friday evening last, as a public Welcome Home to Trooper Thos. WAITE, of the 24th Imperial Yeomanry. It will be remembered that Trooper WAITE was one of the number of Cumberland and Westmorland Yeomanry who volunteered for active service when the call for men was made. He returned about a month ago, when, as reported in our columns, he was enthusiastically received and shouldered triumphantly through the streets of Haverigg. The Haverigg Mafeking Committee have had under consideration since then how to show the public appreciation of Trooper WAITE’s services to the country, and a concert was decided upon, which duly came off on Friday, when Mr Wm. Lewthwaite, J.P., occupied the chair, being supported by Trooper WAITE, Mr T.J.C. Fox, and the Rev. Watson Stratton.
The Chairman, after reading letters of apology for non-attendance from Dr Joscelyne and Messrs W.I. Barratt, G. Mair, and J.W. Brockbank and Sergeant G.H. Spencer, said that company had met together to give Trooper WAITE a welcome home, and he was sure it would be a warm welcome. He remarked that this was the first war in the lives of any of them in which civilian soldiers had been asked to fight. Eighteen months ago, when the war commenced, and the nation set its teeth, Trooper WAITE was one of the first to volunteer to go out and fight our battles. They were very grateful to him and all others who did the same. Britain had been told they had made a great mistake in this war, in supposing that it was going to be soon over, but in his opinion the Boers had also made a great mistake. They had no idea that the British would rush to arms to the extent that they did, and that in all parts of the world their friends would gather round as they did. We had suffered much, but had been fully repaid all, for today Britain as a nation was stronger than she had ever been. Two years ago no one would have believed that Englishmen on all sides and from all parts of the world would be so ready to go forth and fight in a foreign war. He had believed that it was sure to come sooner or later, and he also believed that whether it went on for a long time yet or soon came to a close, it could only end in favour of Britain. We shall look back in future years upon this time, and shall then know that the two years now passing had done more for the Empire than any previous two years in history. They felt most grateful to Trooper WAITE and his fellows, who went out to South Africa to risk their lives, and he knew that they were ready to go again should occasion require. But they felt now that no great effort was needed to bring the war to a successful issue – (applause).
The musical programme was proceeded with, and Master A. Bennetts opened with a prettily-executed pianoforte solo. Mr Williams sang the good old favourite, “A Soldierand a Man”, followed by Mr Watson with “The Death of Nelson”, which was given as a trombone solo, and greatly applauded. Mrs Bennett scored heavily with her song, “The Honour of Old England”. It may be noticed that the items were generally of a patriotic nature, and, needless to say, each executant was warmly received. The Haverigg Orchestral Band now took the platform for a selection which was entitled “Processional March in Grand Parage”. Mr F. Pratt tickled the risible faculties of the audience with a most amusing song, “Tell me mother, darling”.
The Chairman at this stage said it was his pleasant duty to present Trooper WAITE with a solid gold curb watch chain and pendant (which will be suitably inscribed subsequently). On their behalf, he wished him long life, prosperity, and happiness.
Trooper WAITE, on receiving the chain, was greeted with a prolonged outburst of applause. He said he could not find words to express his feelings for the great honour they had put upon him that evening. He thanked them very much and also Mr Lewthwaite for coming there to take the chair. The Mafeking Committee had gone to a great deal of trouble over himself, but he hoped the other local volunteers who were now on their way home would be received in a similar way – (hear, hear). He had received nothing but kind words from all in Haverigg, Millom, and district.
The musical programme was again resumed, the band performing “Mirelda”. Mr Thos. Pratt soon established himself in the public favour by his war song, “You have conquered and died”, and in response to an undeniable encore, gave a good song in praise of the Irish as a fighting people. The audience were therein informed that Roberts, Kitchener, French, Clery, White, and other Generals were all natives of Erin’s Isle. Mrs Burnett followed with “Fighting for Old England”, a song in much the same strain, and then Mr Davis rendered “The true-born Englishman”. Mr F. Pratt brought the programme to a finish with “A Soldier’s Motto”.
Mr T.J.C. Fox proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman, and said they had had Mr Lewthwaite with them on many occasions, but never before as their direct representative. He congratulated the Chairman on his return for the Haverigg district on the Cumberland County Council. Referring to the object of that gathering, Mr Fox said they were all very happy to see Trooper WAITE home again. They did not know till within a few hours what time to expect him, but the village meant to receive him properly, and he thought all would agree that they had done very well. The Mafeking Committee had not forgotten Trooper WAITE’s comrades, and they would bear in mind Trooper ROSEVERE, who had engaged for a further term of service, although they believed he would be home some time this year.
The Rev. W. Stratton seconded the vote of thanks, saying he believed that was the first time Mr Lewthwaite and himself had been in that room together, but he hoped that they would meet again under equally auspicious circumstances.
The Chairman, in response, declared that there was no need for any vote of thanks. It always gave him great pleasure to be amongst them, whatever the occasion, and if they would have him, he would be pleased to come again. He then proposed a vote of thanks to the artistes, which was carried with loud applause.